Should We Drop the Enterprise 2.0 Pilot as Andrew McAfee Suggests?

May 24, 2010

This post is perhaps a few days late but it’s something that I have been thinking about ever since Andrew McAfee wrote that organizations needs to “Drop the Pilot” for their Enterprise 2.0 initiatives.  Now before you take sides here let’s think this through and see what makes sense.  According to McAfee:

“I believe these kinds of pilots are unintentionally set up to fail, or at least underwhelm. This is essentially because they contain too few people, most of whom know each other too well.  The more I learn about and think about the value of emergent social software platforms, the more I suspect that the deep meta-benefit they provide is technology-enabled serendipity, defined as ‘good luck in making unexpected and fortunate discoveries.’ Serendipity is possible when we’re collaborating with our close colleagues on a well-defined project, but that’s probably when it occurs least often. It’s much more likely during wide forays and broad searches, the kind that are so easy to do with current technologies.”

Andrew’s argument is essentially based on comparing the risks associated with E2.0 failure vs. the serendipitous benefits of E2.0.