A new Enterprise 2.0 approach: Frequent setup errors (2/4)

In the first post I introduced the principal levels and variables characterizing an Enterprise 2.0 project.
From my integrated point of view we can identify four frequent setup errors present in several Enterprise 2.0 approaches.

It’s not the Web
The design point of view of a web interface or of a famous social network is only a part of knowlewdge nessesary in an Enterprise 2.0 project. The point is to understand the psychosocial, motivational and persuasive mechanisms under the success of an app or a project. If you don’t consider these levels and variables:

  • you lose the opportunity to have major probabilities that the target behaviours will be performed by the users
  • you risk to not understand what is going on in the network and losing the social dynamics in the network instead to managed them

The users in a company don’t make a free choice when they adopt a new app and collaborative practies, like what happens in the open web. So it’s necessary a strategy of engagement.

Objectives and the ecosystem of a network in a company are different from a social network in the web. This means different users, differents behaviours, different incentives, different strategies from the web.


In the last fifteen years many companies had thought that is enough to have a good IT, a good technology, to achieve several knowledge management objectives. But opening a channel isn’t enough to make people participate. In fact, the knowledge management processes and practices have a relational origin in the organizational culture. With a technocentric point of view, IT only extends the cognitive processes inside the knowledge management processes of the organisation. So, the risk is to have the potentiated capacity of communication, collaboration but not used or partially used.

You have to work both on technology and organisational culture at the same time.

Only top-down
When consultants or designers talk about top-down processes in a social network or intranet, generally they mean the hierarchic direction, from the top to the bottom of contents, information organisation and the strategy of governance of the community. But top-down can be also the motivational strategy and the typology of incentives. It’s fundamental moving from estrinsic to intrinsic motivations because intrinsic incentives are the best to nudge collaborative behaviours. If you want active users, don’t use only a TV or bingo incentive metaphor that makes them passive.

It’s not a matter of faith in the bottom-up organisation. The logic between top-down and bottom-up is inclusive, not esclusive. The point is to understand that auto-organizations of behaviours and informations (meme) is related to more engagement of the user and the evolution of the community.

The knowledge management objectives are a challenge to the decisional capacity and coordination of several parts of a big company. An Enterprise 2.0 project could create hierarchic and conflictual resistence inside the structure of the organization. The complexity is also present in the different competences required to understand and manage all the different levels. Generally this situation produce the request that a partial approach can be “magical” enough, or that the company need only a design solution because they have clear the strategic point of view. Unfortunatly the difficulty to deal this complex and multilevel scenario produced a big loss of time and money for the many companies.

Don’t worry, it’s normal. It’s physilogically difficult for a big company organised an important internal coordination for a transversal project as a project of Enterprise 2.0. It’s also normal that there is always someone ready to collude with this partial request.

The correct way is that from the first moment an Enterprise 2.0 project is Change Management and is fundamental to not collude with this partial request, but help the company to coordinate and understand itself to produce solid start point.

In the next post I’ll introduce the main processes of my approach to Enterprise 2.0.

Un pensiero riguardo “A new Enterprise 2.0 approach: Frequent setup errors (2/4)”

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