Notes from the trenches …

Andrew McAfee makes a case for prediction markets, citing James Surowiecki:

“[…] the most mystifying thing about [prediction] markets is how little interest corporate America has shown in them. Corporate strategy is all about collecting information from many different sources, evaluating the probabilities of potential outcomes, and making decisions in the face of an uncertain future. These are tasks for which [prediction] markets are tailor-made. Yet companies have remained, for the most part, indifferent to this source of potentially excellent information, and have been surprisingly unwilling to improve their decision making by tapping into the collective wisdom of their employees.”

Janet compiles Enterprise RSS Day of Action posts, pointing out Scott Niesen who calls for altering the conversation about RSS:

Like most new technology companies we had a vision of how RSS could be used behind the firewall and we wanted feedback to see if we were on target. In the early days we started these conversations by focusing on the technology. These conversations didn’t get very far. The inside joke was that we were starting the conversations by asking, “How many pounds of RSS would you like to buy today?” You live and learn. Now we start the conversation talking about communication and collaboration challenges. The conversations last longer and are far more meaningful.

Naming is important, so I like this “Communication & Collaboration Delivery” instead of Enterprise RSS.

And there’s an interesting chart on Enterprise 2.0 adoption here at Read-Write Web (“Enterprise 2.0 To Become a $4.6 Billion Industry By 2013“), citing a report by Forrester Research:

web 2.0 adoption

Yes, it’s sad to see that small and medium-sized businesses don’t see the opportunities. Way to go for social software consultants – more explaining, teaching and coaching – customized to this “long tail” of businesses – is needed. Still, the problem of “getting past the IT gatekeepers” is mostly a problem of big enterprises, which have other upsides still:

Enterprises are keen in adopting web 2.0 principles in both external and internal aspects. Knowledge Management is being replaced with web 2.0 collaboration and social networking applications. The executives understand the need, but knowledge of web 2.0 and how to implement is still missing. They are opting for less risky web 2.0 pilot applications instead of realigning their business strategy with web 2.0. But I am sure success of pilot applications will lead to bigger initiatives. It is just a matter of time and confidence.

Well, there’s nothing wrong with doing pilots first, funding a small team and bringing in external consultants like me to get up to speed quickly. Don’t spend hours pondering the details and splitting hairs – actually use this stuff and find out.

And finally, when shall the next Wiki Wednesday Stuttgart be? My favourite date is July 9th, between the European Football Championships and summer holidays in Baden-Württemberg.

5 Responses to “Notes from the trenches …”

  1. Hi Martin, I am scratching my head wondering why small to medium size businesses aren’t jumping on Web 2.0 technologies and idioms as a way to encourage innovation, communication and collaboration AND competitiveness.

    I guess smart enterprise examples and the perseverance of people like us will push the timid and fearful into the fray eventually.

    You summed it up perfectly: “Don’t spend hours pondering the details and splitting hairs – actually use this stuff and find out.”

    Amen. Push on, sir… see you on the outside!

  2. Martin Koser says:

    Janet, you’re right, this is no easy game. Perseverance is needed – even when people basically agree on the future potential they often don’t sense an (urgent) need for action.

    Yet, it’s not a good idea to say that people in SME don’t get it. It’s rather that we as consultants need to refine our message, explaining and demonstrating the benefits. And you’re right, enterprise examples (best if they’re from the same industry) work best. So I am quite glad that some of my clients don’t fall into the mould of “typical IT shop”, because then everybody would say that this is nothing special.

  3. Agreed that people in SME get it – but I think there’s so much fear out there about engaging with employees and customers, partners and others in a Web 2.0 way that that’s what prevents action… would love your thoughts on whether you’re finding fear crippling action?

  4. Martin Koser says:

    Well, yes, “fear” (or rather insecurity) is present sometimes.

    Even good intentions don’t prevent it, like when people hesitate to invest time and resources into initiatives that don’t have clear outcomes. And most social software initiatives are pretty complex if we’re looking really close. This is hard organizational management stuff, which I guess is why it’s so fascinating to be in …

  5. […] Johnson expands on Enterprise 2.0 and RSS adoption, linking back to me: […] enterprise RSS adoption is coming into fruition – but why has it taken us so many years to […]

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