There are lots of conversations going on right now about Enterprise 2.0, but how much is just wistful thinking? In a recent post of mine, straight shooter Matt Moore challenged the hype by commenting:
"I have yet to hear of it actually [flattening and decentralising] in most organisations. It provides opportunities for that to happen but only to the extent senior management encourage this or at least do not actively prevent it."
"I count myself as a true believer in Enterprise 2.0, but I’ve seen enough of organizations to know that the status quo has enormous power, and making good changes happen is never easy. In particular, unstructured implementation of social media tools in organizations will yield only a fraction of the value of a planned one. Yes I believe in emergence, but leadership is required to create fertile fields."
"The only reason I don't completely agree here is that I think Euan is assuming that in this scenario managers and IT departments are not blocking these tools at the firewall -- they're not precluding employees from using these technologies while at work... I've been in many offices where I couldn't check gmail, and it's not hard at all to imagine that many companies will try to keep employees from putting company data beyond the firewall on servers hosted by Socialtext, Zoho, Google, 37 Signals, or any of the other collaboration service providers."
"What's a likely sweet spot for applying Enterprise 2.0 inside the firewall? Keeping adoption of your preferred tools simple within the complex landscape of your organization so users won't prefer theirs; flatten your network as much as you can, open your systems using simple, open standards, and push the tools out fast (the network effect is pronounced with these tools so speed does matter). Make Enterprise 2.0 as simple as humanely possible for your organization in this framework, but no simpler. "
So who is right? Well, who said there had to be a right answer? Perhaps the answer is all of the above.