Enterprise 2.0: key ingredients & barriers

JOSE, CA) “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms by
organizations in pursuit of their goals,” says the man who coined the phrase,
Andrew McAfee, Principal Research Scientist, Center for Digital Business, MIT
Sloan School of Management; Author, Enterprise 2.0.


“A key
word is emergent… we’ve always been good at imposing things on people,” adds
McAfee, who was addressing the KM World 2009 conference in San Jose. “What
we’re now doing is not dictating what people need to do… but instead throwing
out a technology blank slate, and letting people fill it in.”


Key ingredients
for Enterprise 2.0 success:


  • Altruism: People want to help
    (stop obsessing about risks)
  • Process: Beware of the ‘one
    best way’ (use tools that let structure appear)
  • Innovation: Expertise is
    emergent (build communities that people want to join)
  • Intelligence: Crowds can be
    very wise (experiment with collective intelligence)
  • Benefits: Real, measurable benefits
    (increased innovation, employee satisfaction)
  • Impact: Sitting this one out
    is a bad idea (look at technology with fresh eyes


“I think
it’s (Enterprise 2.0) 

McAfee emphasized that failure is common and that it is, in fact, easy to
‘snatch’ defeat from the ‘jaws of victory’ by not avoiding some common barriers:


  • Declare war on the enterprise
    (“Its bad marketing to management.”)
  • Allow walled gardens to
    flourish (silos kill)
  • Accentuating the negative
    (spend less time on the risks)
  • Try to replace email
  • Fall in love with features
    (we don’t want more, keep it simple)
  • Overuse the word “social”


concluded his keynote address to KM World 2009 with the following quote from
futurist Norbert Weiner in 1954: “The world of the future will be an even more
demanding struggle against the limitations of our intelligence, not a
comfortable hammock in which we can lie down to be waited upon by our robot


2 thoughts on “Enterprise 2.0: key ingredients & barriers”

  1. Hi Toby,
    It sounds like this was a fantastic keynote address. Thanks for documenting what you heard and sharing it, /Beth Gleba

  2. You're welcome. Actually, it wasn't a very good keynote at all… and I learned nothing. However, since I was there, I thought I'd make the most of it but I'm in no rush to see Andrew McAfee speak again.

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