Going hands on to get your arms around Enterprise 2.0

I was not able to attend last month’s Enterprise 2.0 conference in Boston. I wanted to pick up on something Andrew McAfee had to say during his keynote there, however. Here’s his set up:

I found myself in an uncomfortable position at the end of my short keynote speech during the Enterprise 2.0 conference yesterday. I got through my prepared material and still had about five minutes left in the alloted time. So I had to ad lib.

The idea that occurred to me (from no identifiable source) was to make Enterprise 2.0 personal. I compared where my thinking was a year ago to where it was today, and tried to convey how big a shift had taken place.

[Speaking From the Heart, and off the Top of My Head ]

He goes on to share some of his observations about blogs, social networks, and how organizations are taking up the mix of technologies that fall under the Enterprise 2.0 rubric. For example:

I used to believe that blogs were primarily vehicles for blaring opinions, and that bloggers generally proved Kierkegaard’s great quote that “People demand freedom of speech as a compensation for the freedom of thought which they seldom use.” I now get a large percentage of my daily food for thought from blogs, and write one myself. It’s proved to be an unparalled vehicle for getting ideas out into the world, getting useful feedback on them, and meeting people who are interested in the same things I am.

[Speaking From the Heart, and off the Top of My Head ]

What struck me was the particular importance of hands on knowledge in appreciating the importance of these technologies. The organizational value of these technologies is in how they change the possibilities for productivity and effectiveness of the managerial and executive core. You need to work with them in a substantive way to appreciate what they can do for you. That makes them different from so many other applications of technology in the organization. McAfee has made that investment and has become an effective spokesperson for them. How do we get others in similar positions to invest in the necessary learning?

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