Read this post in: French
It is quite striking to see how much the mass production era still shapes a lot of our behaviors, whether in our relationships to brands or in Enterprise world. From a customer point of view, while conversing more and more with brands around what I consider as a symbolic transaction, we are still mostly considering companies as products and services manufacturers and distributors.
In parallel, “work as value” is still a dominant paradigm in a lot of companies, which, at same time, are trying to implement 2.0, socio-collaborative, tools and platforms to foster knowledge emergence and capitalization. This is strikingly strong in countries like France, where our President said “travailler plus pour gagner plus” (working more to earn more) less than two years ago. Let’s face this, every effort to facilitate Enterprise 2.0 adoption has to take into account, not only structural resistance, but cultural artifacts from a past era.
Most employees have quite effortlessly switched paradigm, from “work as value” to “work as creation of value”, as it relates both to their day-to-day experience as customers and to their expectations in Enterprise world, but managers are facing a bigger challenge, as they are less and less connected with a traditional (pre knowledge economy era) role of managing teams, and expected to consider management as transformation of value. As obvious as this might be, seem from our Enterprise 2.0 heralds’ seats, we have to keep in mind that organizational and behavioral gap: from gatekeepers of business processes, managers must now dynamically harness existing knowledge to transform it into competitive advantages for their company; a tough challenge for most.
Furthermore, while bringing more agility, adoption of collaborative tools and platforms, whether used in the existing framework of business processes or not, allows for a new type of leadership, combining knowledge fostering with social connections facilitation. Managers will now have to catalyze groups and communities activity, involve them in decision-making as well as in maintaining their inner state of equilibrium, acting as the strange attractors of a complex internal ecosystem.
From their real adoption of what is clearly a totally new role, a role which requires more qualities than ever, will depend success or failure of many companies in this new socio-collaborative economy.