My colleague Dan Short just forwarded me an interesting article on ReadWriteWeb today, Enterprise 2.0 The Nature of the Firm. One section in particular that I was wondering if anyone has thoughts on is in the quote box below.
My question is this - which, if any, of those four parts of the 'storm' are really areas of concern for enterprise org's within this community? Or is this article more hype than fact IYO? Anyway, good article to spend a couple minutes reading...
The perfect storm hitting large enterprises
Large enterprise face a "perfect storm". These are huge challenges. Start-ups that help them navigate these challenges in real and fundamental ways will do very well:
- The demographic time bomb of retiring baby boomers. They have mastered the rules of the traditional enterprise and, with only a few years to retirement, they will tend to resist fundamental change. When they leave, they take with them accumulated decades of experience, knowledge that is not easily codified for handing down to the next generation.
- The difficulty of bringing in Generation Y. This generation has grown up in the fluid world of social media. GenY are not enticed by rigid command and control structures controlled by a generation that does not want to hand over power. This is a big problem for enterprises. Ask a random sample of GenY how many view Fortune 500 companies as their ideal employer. If large enterprises don't get the best and the brightest in this generation, they will be in deep trouble from the start-ups and global challengers who do.
- Enterprises are all about secrecy, structure and control. Social Media is exactly the opposite. Secrecy, structure and control have served real needs for a long time, they work. When the irresistible force of social media hits the immovable force of a traditional enterprise, it makes a loud noise. The strategies are not obvious. "We will make social media technology bend to our rules" will lose a lot of the real value. "Blow up all the rule books, let self-organizing networks evolve" may work out brilliantly, or it may blow up catastrophically; the risks are unlikely to be easily contemplated by existing management and investors.
- Figuring out what is core and what is non-core is hard. Implementing that is even harder, when careers and power rest with the current definitions that assume that most activities are core and should be done in-house.