Does the web change everything – at work?

Following on from my recent post about the web, and how it can be used for good or ill, it occurred to me that the same is very much true for the use of web tools in the workplace. Simply deploying “Enterprise 2.0” tools will achieve very little if they aren’t accompanied by a change in attitudes and behaviours.

The biggest challenge with deploying Sharepoint isn’t that the technology isn’t great but that it doesn’t challenge deeply held assumptions about what it takes to run a business. It really is like re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

I worry to see organisations of all sorts charged with making huge cuts but insisting on clinging to old ways of doing things . Really grasping what web tools can do for them, and changing practices, that in many cases have been around for decades, has such exciting potential to do more for less – and have more fun doing it!

4 thoughts on “Does the web change everything – at work?

  1. Euan, I agree with you 100%. Often, managers and heads of organizations jump on Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 without considering how it may require changing habits, relationships with coworkers, and what we consider "success" –that is, new business and organizational models. Often, implementation happens just because "others are doing it, so we should too." Metrics is a real problem. It seems we gravitate towards metrics we're comfortable with (hits or # of followers vs more accurate statistics). New tools, really revolutionary ones, require we reorient ourselves and our expectations. Unfortunately, there is a huge lag time (and sometimes we never evolve).


  2. Changing software is always challenging but its child's play compared to changing attitudes and behaviours. Shifting people off longstanding processes and procedures requires a concerted effort of communication, training, nudging, ongoing support and encouragement . . . always found it helps to first offer the new method as an easier faster preferred alternative, then immediately begin phasing out the capacity to use older methods


  3. It's funny. I disagreed with you on the principle of "Integration" in this post: KISS but I find myself agreeing with you on the basis that building "one big watercooler" (in a virtual sense) just invites (indeed promotes) the same command and control behaviours that erode the effectiveness of such tools. Who will actually enter into conversations at the "one big watercooler" if there are the same old list of rules posted above it and a (same old) policeman there waiting to punish those who step out of line. Much better to have 20 "watercoolers" and allow conversations to happen, behaviours to evolve and people to realise that influence is a much stronger force than command. Or, at the very least, it makes it much more difficult to police 😉 So after agreeing to disagree, I find myself agreeing to agree after all. 🙂


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