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Best of the MIX on Web 2.0 and Management Innovation

by David Sims on April 7, 2011


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Best of the MIX on Web 2.0 and Management Innovation

One of the most interesting themes of MIX content in the year since we launched has been the role of technology in management innovation, especially social networks.  Mavericks and MIXers alike have made made the argument that the effects of Web 2.0 technologies on the organization and the people in it are huge -- not minor changes to the way we work, but revolutionary changes to the way we view work.

For example, employees who have grown used to the meritocracy, the ease, and the capabilities available to them on the consumer web are impatient with organizations that can't perform at that same level. Want to create a new service or show off an accomplishment? It takes only a few minutes to do that on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or the hundreds of sites that host various services on the cloud, from team collaboration to email services and product prototyping. So why should it take weeks or months to accomplish something similar in a rigid organization?  

The most innovative workers won't sit still for IT and the rest of the organization to catch up. They'll move on to create it on their own or for another organization that can move at their speed. As senior executives in companies learn this lesson, they're raising their game to meet these innovative workers on that level playing field.

We've explored this and other important aspects of the effect of Web technologies on management innovation. Here are a few highlights from recent months. Feel free to share them with your CIO -- or anyone at your company who would benefit from this robust conversation.
Andrew McAfee
Andrew is the author of Enterprise 2.0 and the Principal Research Scientist at MIT's Center for Digital Business. His research gives him a broad view into the impact of Web 2.0 technologies on business. In our video interviews, Andrew discusses topics ranging from the tactical (how to get started with your Twitter feed) to the more strategic (will Web 2.0 technologies make the traditional hierarchy irrelevant). One of his more popular blog posts on our site is about the "Do's and Dont's for Your Work's Social Platforms."

Tim O'Reilly
As a publisher and follower of the "alpha geeks", Tim O'Reilly has a good perspective on where technology is headed and how that will impact business, society, and government. Gary Hamel interviewed him for the MIX last autumn, in a conversation that included discussions of open-source innovation, the Facebook generation in the workforce, and the need to nurture an ecosystem to help grow your own products and services. Tim's blog post, Creating a Context for Creativity, explores his thoughts on the role of a good manager.  

Gary Hamel
Gary's recent conversation with James Franklin, Dell's VP for Enterprise IT, explores a range of topics on social media in the organization and the ways that IT managers should respond to make the most of them. All four segments of this video interview can be found on Dell's sponsor page.

Two blog posts from Gary also explore these topics. "The Facebook Generation vs. the Fortune 500" looks at the ways that Generation Y employees approach work differently from previous generations, in large part because of their experience in a connected online network. A follow-up post, "Empowering Natural Leaders in ‘Facebook Generation’ Ways" explores ways that managers should respond to these changes.
MIX Story: Building the Social Web into the Fabric of the Organization
This Story (a case study) by Srinivas Koushik, who is now a senior IT exec w HP, writes about his experience implementing a social network at Nationwide Insurance, where he was previously CIO.

MIX Story: The Tube: IDEO Builds a Collaboration System That Inspires through Passion
This is another case study, by IDEO's CTO Doug Solomon, about implementing a sophisticated intranet that helped boost collaboration at IDEO.

This is a good starter list, but by no means comprehensive.

What are your favorite stories, hacks, and posts on the MIX (or elsewhere) that deal with this interesting topic?

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