Summary of “When Commanding the Stage Means Passing the Mic” by Kim Kobza, CEO of Neighborhood America
While the Smart Web undeniably promises significant advances in productivity and revenue opportunities, like all change it also brings about predictable barriers.
Perception of high change cost and organizational reengineering
We rely heavily on organizational charts with well-defined roles, responsibilities and processes. If we accept that virtually any process could be improved by the involvement of many, then it follows that
everyone’s role and responsibility would have to change.
CEO’s would know almost instantaneously how their organizations – and the people within it – were performing. They would hear from customers, partners, and employees in an ongoing and real-time
environment. Elected officials would not be able to support actions on anecdote alone. They would have credible data from their constituent community on a real-time basis. And, the input would be supported by reasoning – not simply binary voting or anonymous email.
Industry and procurement barriers
Technology is a multi-billion dollar industry, and vendors have thrived on creating complex and costly IT systems for business and government. The Smart Web catapults an alternative, low-cost business model to the forefront, diminishing the reliance upon custom built infrastructures. To varying degrees, technology vendors have limited interest in promoting business models that make it easy – and
inexpensive – for organizations to effect change.
In addition, procurement processes are largely inflexible and biased toward building systems in-house, one by one. Although Software as a Service is among the fastest growing segment within the technology industry and is expected to dominate the marketplace by 2011xii, it is not yet widely embraced by procurement processes.
This resistance to change may initially discourage a rapid acquisition of Smart Web technologies that will enable organizations to evolve in this new paradigm. But as with all disruption, the compelling business logic of the Smart Web will inevitably flourish.
When Commanding the Stage Means Passing the Mic
Businesses continue to rely on Web 1.0 portals, and the social media tools prevalent in Web 2.0 will continue to thrive into the foreseeable future. Both have been monumental advancements in the evolution of the Internet. But they are milestones – not the destination.
It is time for the next evolution to take hold…for a Smart Web that leverages our collective intelligence to its best and highest use. It is time for the voice of the consumer to enable business to go faster, to be more profitable, and to achieve long-lasting sustainable financial results.
So, will business and societal institutions respect the value of many? With the Smart Web, the answer is – yes. As Enterprise Social Networks evolve with the next generation of the Internet, the value of many will provide practical benefits for virtually everything that we do.
Like every cycle of business transformation, this change may cause short-term disruption. But ultimately all organizations that harvest the value of many will realize meaningful – perhaps dramatic – gains in revenue, efficiency, and productivity.
What Say You?