Sunday, January 17, 2010

The Flat Enterprise Society

My company has a few collaboration products (Code-Roller and Cogenuity) so I often write about ECM because it is an exciting industry to be in these days.

Enterprise Collaboration is exciting in terms of growth but it is also exciting because its thought leaders have something interesting to say. Folks like Thomas Malone, Andrew McAfee, and Dion Hinchcliffe are doing a lot to advance modern corporate tribal thinking to greater levels of democratic culture.

Like any disruptive innovation, change is required in order to realize any benefits. Change has to come from both the board room and the water cooler in order for it to have any lasting effect. True change must come from above and below, from the executives and the rank-and-file. That turning point is what is usually called the watershed moment in the adoption curve of any paradigm shift.

That is why I got excited when I read this NY Times interview of the CEO of SunGard. Cristóbal Conde explains in day-to-day, boots-on-the-ground terms that any C level player can understand how the old ways of top down management simply won't scale in this modern age of global competition, cheaper communications, and the rising price of oil.

Conde does not come off as pompous. He talks about mistakes that he made before he understood the true value of collaboration. Other valid points that he makes include the fallacy of micro-management, the importance of intellectual curiosity, and the mental illness known as PowerPoint. Sounds provocative? Definitely give this one a read.