Always-opinionated blogger Dennis Howlett put up a post at ZDNet last week titled “Enterprise 2.0: What a Crock.” I don’t agree, but I do commend Howlett for making a couple important points and raising a question that really matters.
One of his important points, to my eyes, is that:
“Like it or not, large enterprises – the big name brands – have to work in structures and hierarchies that most E2.0 mavens ridicule but can’t come up with alternatives that make any sort of corporate sense.”
I’d use the word ’some’ instead of ‘most,’ but I applaud Howlett for pointing out that certain E2.0 enthusiasts adopt the language of revolutionaries. They rail against the old corporate order and proclaim that they’re working for its downfall. They portray hierarchy, standardization, and management as enemies of innovation, creativity, and value creation. And they maintain that E2.0 is an unstoppable force that will only gain power as Millennials enter the workforce and that resistance to it is, ultimately, futile.
All of which is both unhelpful and wrong. It’s unhelpful because such rhetoric has the effect of increasing resistance to E2.0 among people who really need to be on board. If you’re a manager within a stable hierarchy and you get wind of a movement that aims to eliminate management and hierarchy (and stability!), you’re almost certainly going to oppose it.