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While I have no doubt the cases he cites are real, I wonder whether we’ll see broad adoption that delivers breakthrough value in the way Andy describes. Many organizations are deeply rooted in Taylorian time and motion thinking that brings the kind of hierarchical order with which many are comfortable. That has led to much discussion around infusing E2.0 into resistant business cultures.


Dennis Howlett reviews Andrew McAfee's new book and struggles with the thought that Enterprise 2.0/social media will EVER fit into some organisations, where McAfee is optimistic that it can (and presumably should).

Like McAfee, I am optimistic, and believe that most, if not all organisations would benefit from a more "social" approach to business. I am also realist enough to believe that there will always be some that are too fixed in their command-and-control hierarchies and power structures to allow that socialisation to happen. Where perhaps I differ from Dennis in that realism, is that I think that the resistance will cost those companies dearly in the long run, mainly in the areas of attraction and retention of talented employees, and the accelerated innovation possible when you open up to business partners.

I'm conscious, though, that there is no one "right" way to run a business – for every business model known to man (and a few beyond that) you can find successes and failures. In the end I think it comes down to something that Alistair Cockburn said (he was discussing developers on a software project, but I think it can be generalised): that people are non-linear first-order variables in any project; i.e. the individuals involved in (for this discussion) the adoption of E2.0/social media in an organisation are key factors in its success or otherwise.

The short form of that? It's horses for courses …