Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Have will, find way

In a recent study by McKinsey it seems that Web 2.0 adoption is being thwarted by nervous executives who fear two things:

  • IT ceding control
  • Disruption of the "knowledge economy"
  • IT ceding control...

    This thorough study found that 33% of executives invest in wikis, 32% invest in blogs, while just 21% invest in "mash-ups." First of all, those numbers are big. Secondly, often there is more deployed than management thinks: almost no executive knows which wikis are out there. When we did a research roadshow in 2005 we asked companies how many unmanaged web applications were in their enterprise. Typically, people said they had very few. Then, we went through category after category (including wikis) and found that the average company had around 100 unmanaged web apps.

    The article notes:

    Jacques Bughin: "The reason why blogs and wikis, in particular, aren't well used is that companies are still afraid," he posits. "How do you basically regulate how to contribute?" He also thinks the wisdom of crowds isn't always sharp and that companies are worried about getting bad information on a collaborative document, such as a wiki.

    The basics of these problems have been solved in a lot of wiki platforms (import your users from LDAP, use security, etc.). The remainder of the control problems are solved by Ensemble. As for getting bad information out of a collaborative document, it all comes back to traceability. If you know who edited what, when, using a page version history as well as a component version history you can easily solve this problem (Pages).

    Disruption of the "knowledge economy"...

    The conceit here is that since people are valued for their knowledge, recording their knowledge in a wiki threatens their status, so they won't contribute. Solution: celebrate the contributers, and let the others leave the company. Successful organizations of the future will be transparent, the idea people will be celebrated, and the knowledge hoarders will simply have no place. The first step? Put together the right feedback mechanisms to determine who is really valuable (in terms of contributing knowledge) in your organization. Yes, maybe this is a plug for Pathways.

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