Enterprise2.0 and senior management buy-in

Andrew McAfee’s excellent blog has two posts which have made me re-think my views on what I have called edge-in adoption of Enterprise2.0 technologies (aka social software).

Previously I have argued that even if they see the benefits of E2.0 (as I’m going to call it from now on) most senior managers will resist the loss of control that comes as part of the package.  Further, the benefits of social software come by allowing innovation at the edge of the enterprise – it seemed to me that central implementation of E2.0 packages ran somehow against that.

Reading Andrew’s posts (and if you are really into this you should check out the comments) it dawned on me that whilst the above points are correct without senior management buy-in these projects won’t get very far.  The role of management will be very different from traditional IT projects – success will now come from creating an environment where people experiment and resisting the temptation to interfere too much rather than from working out requirements and imposing the best one-size-fits-all package available.  But operating without senior management support is never going to work – without it even simple things like access to computing resource will be problematic, let alone re-defining processes.

So that means E2.0 companies will need to sell to of management AND workers.  My fear has always been that adoption cycles will be long, and this doesn’t do much to help.

I still think this area is hot though, and if there are any London based Enterprise2.0 events or seminars coming up I would love to know.