In my predictions post for 2007 I predicted what I thoughts would really happen in 2007, but that isn’t the same as what I would like to see happen in the next year.
For a new type of organization to emerge we are going to need a new type of consultant who lives and breathes what he/she preaches, we need a new type of Chairman who can see the future and give it a framework, we need managers who understand emergence and persuasion, and we need a new kind of employee, who wants to live a better life. We aren’t going to get them all, but we need to know what we’d like to see.
My wishes for 2007 are
1. That Mary, from Compliance, will come home, lay on the couch, and believe that she made a difference during her day at work.
Mary works for a large company, perhaps a multinational, she works in one of those tech-suburban office parks in a big glass building, and has a couple of drinks at the christmas party every year. She wasn’t miserable before, but now that her department at BigCo, Inc. has adopted a new piece of software, called PeopleWorkTogether ™, she has begun to blossom.
Today, Mary noticed that some of the new MBAs were having trouble with a product design and they were making some serious, but well known, mistakes. She was able to hop online, join their development group and give her feedback.
Because Mary has done this a dozen or so times before, she had has much trust and influence as her VP, and far more than the company CEO who hasn’t contributed to anything lately. She even flirts with the idea of applying for job openings in other departments of her company, but it’s the idea of working with a smaller design shop that really has her wheels spinning these days.
2. That a mid-size company will not have VPs for departments, but will hire the best people they can, and their responsibilities will be to spur creativity, communication and collaboration across the organization.
A new type of responsibility will emerge and become accepted. Executives are not special people with all these magical responsibilities, instead they are the super-nodes in their network and they are hyper connected to their entire organization. Driving creativity, new thought, transparency and connectedness through the organization.
Tom, James, Kim and Nancy are the most popular of these people at BigCo, Inc. They all know who Mary is, and Mary certainly knows who they are. She spent her lunch reading James’ recent post on Asian markets. (She had 5 questions for him, and made 9 corrections,… just grammar mostly, but he got a couple facts wrong).
3. There will be intense competition between startups to deliver a new type of platform.
3 to 5 startups will compete head on and provide constant and high quality innovation to BigCo, Inc., and SmallCo, LLC for 2007. A few of these startups will be venture funded, but the top 2 will be revenue funded and will provide the most thoughtful and powerful new capabilities.
These platforms will all be SaaS based. One will be written in Flash, and the others in an Ajax based framework.
4. Harvard Business Review will publish 3 articles
Andrew McAfee still gets to publish one of them, but Euan Semple writes the other, and the third profiles the demise of a major American Enterprise (or a study of how it is failing) while demonstrating a young but healthy company that espouses the new way or working. A fourth article (the lead article for the issue) is written by the guys at 37signals and it provides a positive and new framework for bigCo’s to become new again and even do less.
5. 1 Bestseller will be written about the New Human Enterprise
Instead of every new (and novel) business bestseller being about teaching the old guard to use new marketing techniques, there will be at least one great book that paints a picture of a highly efficient and trust driven enterprise and builds a framework to help executives at existing companies to finally understand what the new world means to them.
6. “A Pattern Language” will become required reading for Business students, Computer Science Students and Engineers
Learning how to build software, buildings and businesses that means something to people will become the MO for learning about, and starting a business.
7. WiMax and similar technologies will get incredibly cheap and see nationwide deployment.
Enterprise 2.0 users need high-quality (consistent) connections to the net, and a major deployment of WiMax (or similar) technology will provide the ubiquity of this type of connection that helps Enterprise 2.0 go where email has with the Blackberry (which requires a simple, and only reasonably fast connection)
8. The term “Enterprise 2.0” will die
I hate it when people fuss over terms, but by segmenting the new world to sets of terms like Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0, we simply make it easier for people to pigeon hole an entire movement as a mere blip on the radar.
We are changing business, creating new markets and driving incredible new efficiencies in existing organizations. Let’s not hide that from anyone.