I've been writing about Enterprise 2.0 and social business topics off and on for almost four years. That's a long time in business.
Every business idea has aspects that are faddish and aspects that are substantial. As an idea evolves through its hype cycle, the noise eventually dies down and substance gets incorporated into "business as usual." And within a few years, nobody is able to imagine doing things differently. The E 2.0 and social business conversation has now evolved to a point where we can take many things--employees blogging, for instance--as part of the definition of business as usual.
So in one sense, the revolution is over. Many individual threads of the broader conversation have hit diminishing returns.
[ Social/mobile, cloud, and big data—successful enterprises must be prepared to adopt all three. Read more at Embrace Enterprise 2.0 Trifecta. ]
But in another sense, the revolution is just beginning. This is a time of radical change in the very design of corporations, the likes of which have not been seen since the late 1800s. That revolution, triggered by the telegraph, didn't fully play out until the mid-1950s, when thinkers such as Peter Drucker and Alfred Chandler were able to describe the mature, classical form of the Industrial Age corporation. By that time, a few generations of the model had come and gone.
We're now at the threshold of a similar long plateau of maturation for the post-Industrial, Internet Age corporation. The basic ideas have been identified and the big changes have been set in motion. But it will be a few decades before the ideas become embodied in every aspect of business. When the logic of forces now in motion works itself out, we will be in an unrecognizable world. From work chairs (which may not exist if standing desks flood the information worker culture) to tools (what comes after tablets?) to the definition of leadership to the very legal definition of a corporation, everything will have been transformed.
Like many of you, I have moved on to more specific interests within the emerging business landscape. Among my current interests are the future of data, the Internet of Things, and the future evolution of the larger business landscape. Many of these interests are informing my second book project, Game of Pickaxes, which I'm beginning to work on now.
So for now, I will be signing off from The BrainYard. I'll resume my writing here once I find a new theme that grabs my interest and seems like it would be worth exploring. In the meantime, you can keep up with my thinking at my personal blog, Ribbonfarm.
So I leave you with what I hope is an appropriate conclusion to four years of writing about E 2.0: a "backlog" (in the sense of agile software development models such as Scrum) of 100 items to get you thinking creatively as you begin the execution phase of this long journey. You can also get the list in spreadsheet form here and edit and modify it for your own needs.
You can also find all of my writing on E 2.0 and social business (including this column) collected into a quick-and-dirty PDF eBook here. It weighs in at about 29,000 words/100 pages, so it should be a fun, light read for your next flight.
Au revoir, folks!