Enterprise 2.0 and The Innovator’s Dilemma

From the Headshift blog, I found this fascinating perspective on how many (most) large organization IT departments look at Enterprise 2.0.

 Behind “Enterprise 2.0” Performance: Exploitation or Exploration?

My favorite quote is:

At the same time, Microsoft, IBM and likes currently are wondering what to do with social computing. They take a lot of time to market relevant and powerful solutions. Most of the time they revamp old appliances, brand them as 2.0 and full stop. They only satisfy people who are not in the know. They create dissatisfaction among employees. They favour both brainwash and brain drain so that you don’t get the best employees. They cost time, resource and money. Overall, they jeopardize corporate performance. So it might be time to consider open-up your information ecosystem to real innovation by adopting products marketed by start-ups or crafted by value-added consultancies.

This is a huge paradigm shift for most organizations. Is it the right way to go? Hmmm…

I think anyone in this situation needs to read Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma. Christensen points to the problems that entrenched organizations have when facing a significantly changing environment. Basically his answer is not to make a full stop radical change in direction, but to move into the new space through independant efforts that are not beholden to the existing power structure, and most importantly not financed by the same budget system. Often the new paradigm has different rules and metrics and using the old measures to evaluate the new environment will never predict an “reasonable ROI”, at least until it is so late in the game that you missed the wave and are playing catch-up.

 If you are in this situation, read the book, you will not be sorry.