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Lagging behind on Enterprise 2.0

This is my site Written by Bjoern Negelmann on 7. September 2008 – 10:07

It has been quite a while that I have posted to this blog but actually I am quite busy planning and organizing some new exciting and challenging conferences – I am therefore hardly able to keep up with all the discussions. In the sense of this weblog I also have very much „dezentralized“ my writings to several places – if you still want to catch up with me then take a look at my FriendFeed that aggregates a lot of these sources (but be aware not everything is in English!). But I will also try to get back my writing efforts to this place.

This said I’d like to promote briefly the discussions on our Enterprise2Open community blog project – and reflect the issues of us cutting the short leashes of driving the Enterprise 2.0 discussions on our own. The Enterprise2Open blog was originally installed by Martin Koser and Frank Hamm as a weblog project that helps to organize the Enterprise 2 Open at CeBIT this year. This summer I have talked to Martin on the prolongation of the project with a new focus and new approach. The mission we defined for this weblog project is to help bonding the E2.0 community more closely together as well as documentating corporate cases in this field.

Following this path I started some first profile interviews with E2.0 experts – see this and this. I’m still hunting down some more folks on this – if you have ideas on who to interview, feel free to tell me. Furthermore Martin and i have recently started a case study project we want to publish soon on a wiki at Enterprise 2 Open. With this we are trying to documentate the cases out there – starting with those that are being discussed at our events (here, here, here, here and here). For the last mentioned event, the Enterprise 2.0 FORUM on Sept. 18th, Prof. Dr. Joachim Niemeier, one of Germany’s expert in the E2.0 field and moderator of the event, has conducted some interviews with the speakers – that are also being discussed out there – see #e20forum at Del.ico.us.

With this I also want to answer a tweet of Andrew McAfee yesterday questioning how far European companies are behind in implementing E2.0 concepts. As all the IT and Web ideas are mostly being invented in the US it is without doubt that Europe always is lagging behind. Especially when it comes towards concepts and methods that are based on less hierarchical and more open principles for organizational structures like the collaborative idea of E2.0 our cultural background is hindering the adoption. Control and structure are still two core values that drive the taught and conducted management doctrine – and can be explainded very much anthropological as the state of power within the social structures of the European culture were long time ruled by clerical and monarchical constitutions where as the American culture started with the economical constitution.

Regarding the companies where E2.0 concepts are adopted very early and likely to succeed I assume from the anthropological explanation that those firms are mainly global players with non-European headquarters or at least strong non-European branches within the organization. Examples for this from our case lists are Deutsche Bank, Adidas, BT but also ABB or Motorla. They are characterized by bottom-up approach regarding their E2.0 projects. The typical German case – in comparison – is characterised rather by a top-down approach like ProSiebenSat1 (corporate Intranet with social features), B. Braun Melsungen (corporate knowledge & collaboration management), Bosch (corporate wiki strategy), Fraport (corporate wiki strategy) as well as Festo (corporate wiki and social networking approach). Most of these cases have problems with the corporate-wide roll-out and acceptance of the E2.0 idea – though they are already further than a lot of other companies.

Therefore coming back towards the question of Andrew McAfee – yes – Europe is always running late in the adoption of new IT and Internet ideas, but there are projects and some of them are leap frogging the adoption.

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Björn Negelmann verantwortet die inhaltlichen Teile der Veranstaltungsaktivitäten von Kongress Media und ist darüber hinaus auch Kopf des an Kongress Media angeschlossenen Research-Hauses N:Sight Research. Er reflektiert seine Beobachtungen über die Entwicklung der Themen sowohl in den Corporate-Blogs von Kongress Media und N:Sight als auch in den Fachblogs Enterprise Digital Blog (zum Social Collaboration & Future of Work Thema), auf Espresso-Digital.de (zum Thema Social Kommunikation & Marketing) sowie im Digital Experience Blog (zum Thema Digital Experience & die Transformation in Marketing, Vertrieb und Service). Darüber hinaus moderiert und betreut er die diversen Online-Communities und Online-Veranstaltungen von Kongress Media.

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