Possible problems with the HR Management Framework for Enterprise 2.0

I've just read the great piece from Jon Husband at the FASTForward blog and its made me think a great deal about Enterprise 2.0 (E2) stuff and how this compares to other new technologies and methods that we've seen play out in the last 20/30 years.

My thinking is as follows;

  • E2 can be framed both as a technology and as a cultural shift
  • Its takeup is clearly very different from hard technologies e.g. email, personal computers, blackberries, databases etc.
  • Adoption is also very different from technological/methodological hybrids e.g. CRM, BRP(?), ERP and JIT amongst others
  • Likewise, the debate about top down and bottom up drivers of adoption is new(ish)
  • E2 seeks a different culture from command and control in which to thrive


  • Given the potentially disruptive nature of E2
  • Its perceived low cost of technology
  • The apparent need to be integrated into processes (see Howlett for example!)
  • Its material 'distributed' impact on culture and values (what can't be E2'ed?)

It will either;

Take hold on a case by case basis, varying from organisation to organisation and function to function, eventually fulfilling its potential and bringing about a subtle change in culture, the credit for which will vary dramatically and some will claim it was their idea from day!


Fail to take hold as the organisation seeks to control and police (in the nicest possible way of course!) the various elements of E2


  • E2 is a bit of a slippery eel, who knows where it will go next
  • E2 doesn't lend itself to linear outcomes and cost/benefit analysis (hard but not impossible!)
  • Claiming credit and gaining influence for E2 is anyone's guess

As Jon writes himself;

I am not aware of significant work in the general area of changes to mainstream HR practices as a result of embarking on the path towards Enterprise 2.0.  I will be delighted to learn from any of you of examples and / or issues I may have missed or glossed over.

My guess is that we'll be waiting quite a while...

Rather than bandwagoning around E2, I think that setting out to claim a element of an organisation that can be improved and has thus far been overlooked will reap richer rewards.

Many thanks to Anne Marie for the brainstorm 🙂


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