Monday, November 05, 2007

How enterprise 2.0 adds value to the connections between workers

Andrew McAfee, the Harvard Business School professor and formulator of the term Enterprise 2.0, shows us that there's more than one way to create a great blog. He doesn't post every day, or every week, even. It's been a month since his last post. But when he does post, it's the Web 2.0 equivalent of a scholarly paper. Detailed, well-reasoned, and complete.

Call his blog the anti-Twitter.

I write this because his new post is significant. Those of us who regularly work with Web 2.0 tools take it as a given that they can help businesses. Who could argue that more sharing and collaboration is harmful, we think? Unfortunately, this type of reasoning, or lack thereof, can't convince a skeptic to install Enterprise 2.0 tools in his data center and let them loose with the employee base--especially given the threat they pose to the information hegemony of senior management and the IT department.

Luckily, McAfee has been thinking about the "why" question. And in his latest post, he describes the value to businesses of Enterprise 2.0, by aligning its tools to the ties between workers--strong ties, weak ties, potential ties, and even no ties.

For example, wikis allow teammates (workers with strong ties) to collaborate on a deliverable. On the other end of the spectrum, prediction markets allow workers with no ties at all to contribute to answering a question or predicting a future result.

In sum, Enterprise 2.0 allows businesses to enhance value from the ties between workers. McAfee presents this conclusion in a very simple table.

So, we have our explanation. It's time to open up the data center. Who's with me?

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D. said...

John, thanks for the kind words about my work and my blog. I certainly aim to post more than once per month -- things just got very busy recently. The blog will be more active from now on.
- Andrew McAfee