Peter Drucker and Enterprise 2.
0 | Drucker Centenary
November 19, 2009 · Blog1185 · Posted by Greg Lloyd
Earlier this week Oliver Marks wrote an excellent post on his Collaboration 2.
Thank you for the kind words and for pointing out the HBR Drucker Centenary issue.
For me the key Drucker quote is: "The purpose of an organization is to enable ordinary human beings to do extraordinary things.
The scale shift that ubiquitous Web tech enables as well as bottom up participation in E2.
By definition an enterprise is a purposeful undertaking that generally requires many hands, expertise and capital that aren't easy for a non-purposeful group to gain and apply over time.
In saying "2.
I believe that emergent phenomena which Prof Andrew McAfee includes as a core part of his definition of Enterprise 2.0 are significant and different in kind and structure from anything seen before in any enterprise - based on the speed, scale, simplicity and ubiquity of the technology combined with expectations and experience grounded in the public Web.
But I also believe that the most likely path to large scale adoption and use of this enabling technology will come from small to mid size groups within an organization who intentionally use it to improve their own ability to get work done - rather than in direct pursuit of emergent benefits.
I believe this bottom up and pragmatic adoption model parallels lessons learned from bottom up Knowledge Management versus the failure of top down KM, and lessons learned from the history of the simple, practical Web itself versus failed dreams of more sophisticated universal hypertextuality.
The benefits that are new in kind are emergent, but the path to broad adoption and acceptance will be based on mutual consent, compelling benefits to those who do the work, leadership, and experimentation in activities that have a clear business purpose - designing, building, selling, maintaining products, providing services to clients, customers and partners.
It's presumptuous to guess what Peter Drucker would say about the relationship between the technology, techniques and phenomena we call Enterprise 2.
But I believe it's fair to ask: "What sort of hard questions might Peter Drucker ask?" David Rendall (of the UK's National Health Service, Orkney) tossed a nice Druckerian question to Carmen Medina during the followup discussion to her Enterprise 2.0 and the Context of Work keynote at TUG 2009 last month:
#tug2009 Question for Carmen: how do those collaborative networks balance with clear lines of responsibility e.
g. in healthcare? 10:06 AM Oct 14th from TweetDeck @davidrendall
For example, the decision on course of treatment for a particular patient is yes or no and may be life and death.
See the video (time 68:20) for David's question.
Drucker would hold management ultimately responsibility for the course of action and outcome.
Drucker makes the point that innovation in how an enterprise (profit or non-profit) works - how it provides motivation, support, leadership and resources to its members to "Create a Customer" - is as important as innovation in whatever else an enterprise delivers.
I hope we'll see more good work (like John Hagel & John Seely Brown's The Only Sustainable Edge) that focuses on E2.
PS - My second Peter Drucker bumper sticker quote for the day: "A manager's task is to make the strengths of people effective and their weakness irrelevant--and that applies fully as much to the manager's boss as it applies to the manager's subordinates.
Peter Drucker Centennial
'The Purpose of a Business is to Create a Customer' - Peter Drucker Centenary Oliver Marks, Nov 16, 2009
The Drucker Centennial - Harvard Business Review, Nov 2009
Books and articles by Peter Drucker
Management: Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices - Peter Drucker (Paperback edition 1993)
The Essential Drucker: The Best of Sixty Years of Peter Drucker's Essential Writings on Management (Collins Business Essentials) (Paperback 2008)
The Theory of Business - Peter Drucker, HBR Sep-Oct 1994 ($)
Schumpeter And Keynes - Peter Drucker, Forbes May 1983 (cover story) A superb essay comparing the two greatest economists of the 20th century, written in the centenary of Keynes birth.
CIA and the NHS: Common features of “high risk, high reliability” organisations - David Rendall, A Web that Works, Nov 3, 2009
Mind, heart and hands: Lifelong learning and teaching in the digital age - Jon Udell on what he memorably calls the principal of Observable Work April 2009