Archive for category Enterprise 2.0

To Manage Better, Think Like a Terrorist

Great management article that challenges classic defensive thinking.

Not in the business of thwarting terrorist plots? Woolley says her findings, which were later replicated in a laboratory setting, provide crucial tools for managers in less hostile environments. For starters, as you approach a problem, there is merit in merely recognizing that you and your team are likely to be operating under either a defensive or offensive bias. To mitigate the resulting dangers of analysis paralysis on the one hand and overconfidence on the other, divide your team into two groups and ask them to consider the problem from either the defensive or offensive perspective. Instead of simply anticipating the moves of a company that threatens to put yours out of business, you’ll be able to assess the peril by thinking like that company. And if you’re convinced you’ll trounce your opponents, defensive thinking will help you stop and reconsider. They may in fact have other plans.;work-life


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Jim Carroll on Project Workforce Management: Faster is the New Fast

Jim Carroll, author of What I Learned from Frogs in Texas, gave an entertaining and informative keynote at the Tenrox User Conference last week. One of the biggest take-aways was: be ready for change–more of it and at a faster pace than we can yet imagine.

Jim talked about how young people don’t only bring about rapid change, but since they have grown up in a world where change is a given, change is simply part of their lives. Whatever the next wave of change is going to be, they won’t just be early adopters–they will be rapid adapters, and they will adapt without even giving it much thought.

His title to the foreword of the book Rise of the Project Workforce, "Don’t mess with my powder, dude," refers to a snowboarder’s response to a job offer. What many of us would call a "regular job" just gets in the way of what is really important to young people’s lives. In fact, over half of people under 25 consider self-employment to be more secure than full-time employment.

We are already seeing what this new attitude is doing to the project workforce. First of all, it is making it more possible–there is a new batch of project workers for whom the "Hollywood Model" will fit like a glove. Second of all, it will force those of us ahead of this curve in experience, but behind in and adaptability (i.e., older) to take a hard look at the "innovation killers" we habitually put into place that could slow down the process of teams becoming more agile, flexible, and less constrained to the home office.


How Much Collaboration is Enough?

In an online column on called "Innovation Station," Richard Watson writes about the phenomenon of people disengaging from their lives because they are too connected to their emails, text messages, and voice messages. Here is an excerpt:

…Ten or fifteen years ago people didn’t take calls in the middle of meetings. Today it’s commonplace. I was in a meeting last year with News Corp when someone from their ad agency took a call and the rest of the room was put on hold for almost ten minutes until the call had ended. You can see this teleportation process in operation in countless restaurants too where couples are talking to each one minute and then divert to receiving phone calls or checking emails the next. …

In short, we are becoming so tethered to our electronic devices that we never entirely switch off and escape from the presence of others. Now this may be a very good thing in terms of the development of individual identity, because we are constantly connected to other people, but I wonder what it’s doing to the quality of our thinking.

…Our connectedness to others through digital networks means that a culture of rapid response has developed in which the speed of our response is sometimes considered more important than its substance. We shoot off email mails that are half thought out and long-term strategic thinking is constrained by a lack of proper thinking time. We are always responding to what’s urgent rather than what’s important. I could have probably put all that together a lot better but I’m pushed for time and really can’t be bothered.

The complete article, titled "Have I Got Your Full and Undivided Attention," is here.

Watson makes a good case that this phenomenon, which thought leader Linda Stone calls Constant Partial Attention, reduces our ability to be human: to relate to people, be alone, reflect, and really think. We are communicating so much online, we are ceasing to communicate live.

In addition to the personal consequences (which are probably profound enough), what does Constant Partial Attention do to the quality of our work, as shown by the success of our projects? Are we losing our ability to think strategically, complete a task competently, or communicate thoughtfully…even while the new communications infrastructures enable us to collaborate in ways we barely dreamed about a decade or two ago?

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Enterprise 2.0: Part 2, Reaping The Benefits

By M.R. Rangaswami, Sand Hill Group

The Enterprise 2.0 opportunity for software vendors is to seed the ground for the next era of software applications. Over the next 5 to 10 years, software that leverages the tenets of Enterprise 2.0 will let “a thousand flowers bloom.”

There are a variety of possible scenarios. What if a consumer packaged goods company could introduce products via podcasts? What if a retailer could corresponds with its customers via a RSS? What if Fortune 500 companies could tag all internal documents and create proprietary indexes for future document searches? What if vendors’ software upgrades could be incremental instead of a big bang, all-or-nothing scenario? What if a customer could integrate a legacy application with a new one using only a few keystrokes?

For enterprises, the advantages of Enterprise 2.0 software are numerous.

  • Lightweight—Requiring minimal system and maintenance resources
  • Easy to use—Simple interfaces will mean no user training is required
  • Quick adoption—Company-wide rollouts can be provided via services or downloads
  • Easy to integrate—Web services and open source code will ease integration
  • Vendor accountability—On-demand and service-based apps keep vendors responsive

As leading-edge CIOs embrace the philosophies and potential of Enterprise 2.0, some software vendors struggle with how they will fit into this new world. The reality is that the benefits for software vendors are also compelling.

  • Fast development—New development models such as co-creation and global development will improve go-to-market speed.
  • Reduced capital investment—Open source, components and shorter development time translate to lower production costs.
  • Shorter sales cycle—Self-service and try-and-buy models mean products prove themselves.
  • Committed, satisfied customers—Better products and service-based pricing means customers remain loyal.

In Part 3 of this series, I will describe the implications of Enterprise 2.0 on the users of software, and on Workforce 2.0.

(Jump to the next post in this series.)

M.R. Rangaswami is co-founder of Sand Hill Group and founder of, a strategic online resource for software business executives. This piece first appeared as part of an op-ed on

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Enterprise 2.0: Why It Matters to Project Workforce Management

We welcome M.R. Rangaswami of Sand Hill Group as our guest on Talent on Target for a 3-part series about Enterprise 2.0, and its implications for the software industry.

On this blog, I frequently discuss “Workforce 2.0”—the trend I see, as our world becomes flatter and more global, for work to become more project-based, more service-based, less centralized, and less controlled from the top down.

Enterprise 2.0 and Workforce 2.0 go hand-in-hand. In fact, it is Enterprise 2.0 that is making Workforce 2.0 possible. The ability—both technologically and economically—for enterprises to distribute their work and collaborate globally has a profound effect upon how we manage workforces, develop talent, and even how we treat people at work.

The changes in the software industry, which M.R. sees first-hand in his consultant practice, are simply the first wave that will also overtake the rest of IT and professional services, and have at least ripple effects in every other sector. It is an exciting time to be a part of the changes in the ways we do business and work together.

(Jump to the next post in this series.)

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Enterprise 2.0: Bringing Software to Life

By M.R. Rangaswami, Sand Hill Group

One by one, technologies, models and vendors have emerged that have had a dramatic impact on the future of the software industry: open source, offshoring, services-oriented architecture (SOA) and software as a service (SaaS). Most recently, the buzz about Web 2.0 has moved to its potential in the business world.

Enterprise 2.0 is the emerging combination of all of these new technologies and models. It will re-shape the CIO’s philosophy about IT and it will transform the way vendors build and sell software.

What is " Enterprise 2.0"?

The most common definition of Enterprise 2.0 has involved the application of Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise. But the reality is something far more. Enterprise computing is far more complex than personal computing. It includes legacy environments, innumerable vendors, mismatched data sources, stringent regulations and far-flung users. While Web 2.0 can deliver genuine advantages for both business users and consumers, the real "Enterprise 2.0" will encompass a far broader and more complex vision.

Enterprise 2.0 is the synergy of a new set of technologies, development models and delivery methods that are used to develop business software and deliver it to users.

Whether created by software vendors, internal IT departments, line-of-business units or service providers, the software of Enterprise 2.0 will be flexible, simple and lightweight. It will be created using an infinite combination of the latest–and possibly, some old-fashioned–ingredients, including
the following:

  • Technologies–Open source, SOA/Web services (AJAX, RSS, blogs, wikis, tagging, social networking, and so on) Web 2.0, legacy and proprietary or some combination
  • Development Models–Relying on in-house, outsourced or offshore resources–or any combination; pursuing a global development strategy; and/or pursuing co-creation with users, partners or both
  • Delivery Methods–Downloading individually; paying for a license; and/or, using on-demand/SaaS or via a service provider

Only by taking a broad, holistic view of the business IT systems in place today and looking forward, beyond their constraints, will we be able to tap the necessary technologies and models to bring Enterprise 2.0 to life.

In Part 2 of this series, I will explain the advantages and benefits for software vendors to adopt Enterprise 2.0.

(Jump to the next post in this series.)

M.R. Rangaswami is co-founder of Sand Hill Group and founder of, a strategic online resource for software business executives. This piece first appeared as part of an op-ed on