Saturday, April 14, 2007

Are we obsessed with busyness?

"So I should have been less surprised when my students talked about the negative perceptions associated with E2.0 [Enterprise 2.0] contributions. They were likely just relating how these contributions would have been seen in their former companies. In environments that value 'busyness' enterprise 2.0 enthusiasts can be seen as laggards, goof-offs, and people who don't have either enough to do or enough initiative to find more real work to do.

Companies that are full of knowledge workers and that have built cultures that value busyness face a potentially sharp dilemma when it comes to E2.0. These companies stand to benefit a great deal if they can build emergent platforms for collaboration, information sharing, and knowledge creation. But they may be in a particularly bad position to build such platforms not because potential contributors are too busy, but because they don't want to be seen as not busy enough.

And even if the leaders in such companies sincerely want to exploit the new tools and harness the collective intelligence of their people, they might have a tough time convincing the workforce that busyness is no longer the ne plus ultra. Corporate cultures move slowly and with difficulty, and it will take a lot more than a few memos, speeches, and company retreats to convince people that it's a smart career idea, rather than a poor one, to contribute regularly and earnestly to E2.0 platforms. "Via Andrew McAfee

No comments: