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2008.06.15

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John, thanks for the heads-up and the pointer to Pfizer. I commented over at Conry-Murray's blog post on InformationWeek where he wrote in response to your post. I thought that I'd include it here as you may have some thoughts.

"I think that Corinthia is spot-on, with some great insights. I wrote, 20 years ago, about that paradox of users not thinking seriously about what they want until you present them with what you've understood that they asked for - and that's not going to change unless we have instant tools.

But moving to Web2 and information-sharing and capturing knowledge - it has to be generative, that is pulled from the shop floor. That requires a focus on collaboration (not collection) a focus on sociability and then the all important encouragement of use. Without that pull from the floor it won't work.

I've just finished an assignment from the CEO of a 5,000 person engineering enterprise who has previously encouraged and rewarded his staff on being operationally and functionally lean, mean, and independent. Now he realises that (a) to go to the next level of his business strategy he needs information sharing as a part of that plan, and (b) 40% of his workforce will retire in the next 10 years.

It's not about wikis (in general) as they are more information collection and sharing is not as social and generative as it needs to be. You also have to bear in mind that unlike us, a large percentage of the workforce in industry don't have logins nor accounts to access this information - so how do you get them to share when they don't even have company emails?

The nub of the issue is leadership, culture and people. I'm not a fan of "knowledge management" its another head office consulting dream and remote from the shop floor. I'm also no longer a fan of the "structured approach" of first defining business processes etc because the time, effort, complications, management etc of such is just a big effort for now reward on the shop floor, and just too hard. The costs are not even remotely rewarded by anything sustainable and useful.

The answer is in the hygiene factors of the right infrastructure and tools, and then all the right human and social factors.

Past efforts have failed the value test, but new technologies and leadership attitudes can be successful, I believe."

Walter Adamson
http://www.digitalinvestor.com.au
Melbourne, Australia

I do not believe this

John. You must be a real dick to work for.

If the Oracle guy gives a presentation you don't like, then maybe you should just shutup. Luckily the web is a big place --- certainly big enough to fit in small individuals like you. I doubt if the Oracle presentation was as bad as you snobbishly infer. Anyway, I'll be at some conference eventually with great anticipation to see how one of your presentations go.

Dan -

I know what you mean about "social", but Microsoft and IBM are heading in this direction and appear to be pulling this out of the soft category and into real, hard business benefits. The shoot out definitely had the Social slant to it. In addition, marketing material seems oriented toward Social.

Thanks for the clarification Carl.

John - great catching up with you in Boston. Sounds like you had fun, eh?

Great summary - I like the color commentary. We should have you in a live streaming commenting booth for events like these - contrast with Stowe Boyd for a bit of controversy AND synchronicity.

Interesting that you believe the term for this market is likely to go in the Social (whatever) direction. Seems to soft/fuzzy to me for "serious organizations" to market with, let alone buy, but as long as they begin to understand and adopt it, they can call it whatever they like.

Sidenote (and plug): It may not be perfect (and we plan to continually refine it), but we did take a stab at (re-)defining Enterprise 2.0 in Q1 2008 in our Market IQ on Enterprise 2.0. 441 respondents weighing in what THEY felt E2.0 represented, who was doing it, who wasn't, whether age makes a difference, etc.. Free download at www.aiim.org/enterprise20 - for those who haven't yet read it.

John:

Thanks for the mention of my session at the Enterprise 2.0 event. With your indulgence, I wanted to qualify the point I made - I believe that Km and Enterprise 2.0 can bring change to organizations, but that neither fundamentally changes the basics of business. I am often aggravated when I read industry analysts and pundits in an attempt to draw attention make statements like "Enterprise 2.0 will fundamentally change the way you do business." Hogwash. Bring change - sure. Fundamental change - not likely. These are tools that facilitate collaboration - not groundbreaking business practices that will redefine the premise of the business model as we know it.

Don't get me wrong - that is still some powerful stuff.

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