Earlier this evening (morning for UK folk), Charlene Li, one of the world’s most influential analyst bloggers hosted a cocktail reception for the Irregulars. This was a pleasant surprise. Charlene is giving up her current beat and wanted to introduce her replacement, a fresh faced young chap who has yet to step into the lion’s den of blogging. Ho hum.
Her main question to us: “What are the myths surrounding Enterprise 2.0 software?” Niel Robertson, Jeff Nolan, Rod Boothby and Mark Crofton were in fine form, peppering her with thoughts around the topic. The stand out for me was Rod’s contribution:
“Don’t for one minute think that Microsoft is not innovating in this space. Excel Services that will go out as web services hold the potential to provide a rich source of data that can be consumed in blog/wikis used by decision makers.”
And regular readers were thinking we’re a bunch of anti-Microsoft bigots?
My 2 cents (seeing is we’re Stateside):
- Myth: Value resides in departmental siloes. It is in the dissemination of knowledge that emerges across end to end processes where value emerges.
- A truth: Knowledge inside the business wants to be free of delivery constraints. It wants to be available for consumption anywhere it’s needed.
That’s anathema to many senior tax and audit managers but it’s a truth they’re going to have to get used to.
In any business, no single person is in possession of perfect knowledge or understanding. It follows that to unlock the power of knowledge, it has to be freely available to anyone who needs it, can enrich it and pass it on. Anything else holds up the ability of the organisation to expose the maximum value from its combined physical and human assets.
You can raise as many control related objections as you like. But it doesn’t avoid the central issue. Maximising value. That cannot be bounded by outmoded ideas around intellectual property ownership. Which, in my experience and that shared among most I’ve spoken with today, is the BIG cultural hurdle inside businesses of all types, shape and size.
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