A sound book about Enterprise 2.0; some thoughts about Andrew Mcafee’s latest book

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For me, as a manager of a large customer contact center, knowledge management, collaboration, sharing facts and statuses  is essential to operate in a successful, efficient and effective way. That is the essence of Enterprise 2.0. And Enterprise 2.0 is also the title of Andrew McAfee latest book.

Whether you are an novice in the Enterprise 2.0 world or already a seasoned veteran, this book is an essential read for you. Andrew McAfee’s book has some excellent concepts that can be used to help bring social tools or collaboration into the enterprise (or organization).

The book has into two parts with the first dealing  Enterprise 2.0 tools/techniques and the last part  discussing how to adapt your enterprise successfully in order to utilize social tools.

Part 1 provided for me an overview of the tools and techniques of Enterprise 2.0 as well as some real-world case studies of companies that have implemented Web 2.0 platforms. Connecting of the various outlined concepts was the eye-opener for me.

Part 2 is excellent.  This is the stuff that anyone in a management, leadership or professional role  must read, connect to and act accordingly.

In his book, Mcafee has attempted to bring case four case studies and prior research together with his own work on the topic. I really liked the references to the findings of Roland Burt, Morten Hansen, Nancy M Dixon and Robert Kaplan. The context outlined by Mr. McAfee enables me – being merely an operational manager – to connect and start acting.

The author outlines his beliefs why there is a convincing rationale for enterprise 2.o and the approach to adopt it.

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In my working environment I see more and more organizations denying the need of additional investing in systems and approaches (maintaining a status quo that is  very often established around the millenium).

The book challenges the theoretical and working assumptions of acting in that way but also argues why this kind of behavior will exist.  Andrew McAfee references to Chris Argyris Model 1 and Model 2 theory and the need for a shift. And that need to change has increased – in my opinion – after the financial meltdown of 09/2008.

Enterprise 2.0 concepts become – in my opinion – an important area of focus for many organizations in order to be successful in today’s business environment. However, many companies – or even better the leadership and management – are reluctant to undertake new initiatives.

There are undoubtedly many reasons for this; however, foremost amongst them is related to the difficulty in establishing a sound business case and justification for this type of an undertaking. It is great a  read how Andrew Mcafee solves this often irrational business requirement. The wordings on page 187 will stimulate me to discuss the rationale of business cases for every innovative infrastructure program.  Andy refers to Robert Kaplan’ s book Strategy Maps.  The difficulty in establishing a business case for Enterprise 2.0 is really an issue of cause and effect, and often stems from the fact that, since these processes are intangible, there is no direct link from an asset  to a demonstrable business outcome.

The book ends with outlining  strategies for using social tools within the enterprise. When you prefer reading capita select of this book make, sure you read the Six Organizational Strategies starting on page 179. Excellent in wordings.

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Thanks to Eric Brown, who inspired me in writing this review!

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