I was reading Vinnie’s blog and he mentioned Tom Davenport’s pooh-poohing. When I returned to the business this year, and went to my first outsourcing conference in 5 years (see 3/30 post), Davenport was the keynote speaker. He was an excellent speaker and connected easily with the audience. As a matter of fact, he was talking about how the industry was trying to apply a CMMI-like model to the BPO market that I found intellectually interesting. I stopped him in the hall afterwards to ask him about it. I think I remember telling him the subject matter was actually insufferably boring to me, but I thought putting some structure to BPO that way was interesting, and I might like to write about it. Thankfully, he laughed at that and told me he thought it was boring too, but he gave me his card, and told me he would mail me something from the HBR he published that would explain it all.
Now Davenport has been around for a long time. I was impressed that IDC had him as a keynote speaker. He has McKinsey, CSC Index, Ernst & Young, Microsoft, board seats on Accenture– in his background, and his resume includes writing or co-authoring 10 best-selling business books about knowledge and information management. And this comes straight from zoominfo:
In the January 2006 issue of the Harvard Business Review, he wrote “Competing on analytics means competing on technology.” In the article, he highlighted companies that use analytical intelligence to drive successful decision-making and competitive differentiation, citing as examples eight companies that are Teradata Warehouse and solution users.
All that being said, with all due respect (and I so mean that sincerely), I want to say to Mr. Davenport and the others of his ilk: please don’t rush to judgment and dismiss Enterprise 2.0. First of all, it’s not just about blogs and wikis. There is a whole host of technology enabled by Web 2.0 (and it’s growing every day).
And, you might want to be aware of some of the more interesting knowledge-based Enterprise 2.0 products that are moving into your sector like Atlassian, Coghead, Intalio, Abgeniel, Illumio and even a little startup I’m helping right now, Experteria (in beta). And these are only the products I know about.
Yes, Enterprise 2.0 is a hot topic. But there is a difference between a hot topic and a fad. I’ve been harping on the youth culture that is driving the development behind these technologies and the attitudinal shifts that are taking place on both spectrums of the knowledge-worker universe. The fed-up, smart, hamstrung departmental users and a digitally comfortable, DIYYnot?-ready youth culture moving in.
In the 90s, it was Jim Champy who christened the Business Process Re-engineering movement. Fad. But it forced enterprises to think in terms of business process and led to BPO- today’s hot topic. Sustainable.
Last word on Hot Topics. My suburban mom friend and I would always nervously usher our kids fast past the Hot Topic store in the mall. It’s no Gap, trust me. I guess we were afraid they’d be seduced into the punk lifestyle if they were exposed to it. When the store first showed up in our local mall, I assured her, “Oh, that will be gone in a few months.” Wrong. The store has been here for years. And you know what? We all shop there now, even the kids (and no, they haven’t transformed). Great tee shirts and band paraphernalia. The lesson here is we all judge what we’re uncomfortable with, but cultural trends have a way of surviving and adapting around our unwillingness to recognize them at first.