Decision-Making and E2.0

What is the impact of E2.0 on decision-making? In the organization, that is. This is a question which is talked about, but probably not as much as it should be. This is because this is really the central part of E2.0. Unless we look at the decision-making aspect of organizations, its a bit tricky to actually understand E2.0.

This comes from Gil Yehuda’s blog, where he blogged about the impact of e2.0 in Germany. Among the several imortant aspects specific to Germany, Gil brings up some interesting points. One is the supposed similarity between the union and E2.0 models, unions being a community with the members of the community having shared interests, and a stake in the agenda of the community, which is shared, too (i hadnt thought about it this way). But what is more interesting is what Gil mentions about decision-makers. To quote:

The union leaders are not so keen on having E2.0 tools since it can result in eroding their power and give more power to the workers that the union represents.  Managers in small companies can also form owner-councils.  This can help them negotiate with the workers’ councils — and may also be threatened by the shift in power too.  In other words — there are decision makers on both sides that are threatened by E2.0.

This is probably the central aspect of E2.0 because the key to E2.0 is that decision-making, and the responsibility that goes along with it is distributed across the organization. Does this have implications about the structure of the organization the way it is today? I think it does. And, does this mean that E2.0 represents a totally decentralized, laissez-faire kind of decision-making patterns? I think not. More about that later, but for now, the point i am trying to make is that the patterns of distribution of decision-making and the responsibility that goes along with it is the key to E2.0. How these patterns are going to emerge and what is going to be the nature of distribution is something which we need to see because this would probably depend on a number of factors influenced argely by the context in which these are done.


8 Comments on “Decision-Making and E2.0”

  1. K N Mishra says:

    Actually, in India it will be hard for leaders and decision makers to adopt such kind of managerial concepts.The reason being majority of people still believe in Monarchi system,they want kings to feed them, to protect them. That is the reason why today lot of politicians and some of the decision makers are being treated like old age monarchs and they will never allow their monarchi to vanish. However, now India is changing and some professional organisations may find it suitable and adopt.

  2. I agree with you Kanchan, that this is a paradigm which is quite different from some of the social norms, probably not just in India, but in a number of countries across the world. Having said that this is a paradigm which is making its presence felt in definite ways as the Iran elections showed.

  3. Gil Yehuda says:

    Thank you very much for your exploration of this concept and its application to the Indian environment. Let me add some thoughts too. The biggest surprise for me was that the room I was addressing was full of representatives of companies who were already moving ahead with E2.0 initiatives. That alone was impressive. But when I learned just how much of a challenge this could be (in the German market), I was really taken aback. There are many reasons that people with power are afraid of change. But E2.0 is not a movement to unseat people with the power. McAfee makes this point very clearly in his new book as well. However people with power can misunderstand the motivation and miss the point. In the US — all it takes is the person with budget authority. If s/he fears E2.0, then the program is going to have a problem. But In Germany the challenge is greater — because there are more people who have to understand the value proposition.

    What this means is that those successful projects in Germany are indeed working because there was much more consensus before anyone started to install any software. Each of the parties (management, employees, and their union representatives) had to fully understand what they were doing and why. This is actually a very good result. Imagine — people understanding a workplace initiative and agreeing together to move forward. This does not always happen.

    So my take-away is that we have much to learn from the German E2.0 market. They are making great progress in an environment where one might think is too difficult. Moreover, their progress teaches us that their success is a result of dispelling fear and misinformation (about the nature of E2.0), and working together toward a shared goal.

  4. I think you are right that E 2.0 is not about power but rather participation and unless this is understood much is left out. This is the reason why i believe that E 2.0 is not the end of hierarchy, but rather a mingling of hierarchy with communities. I will write about this soon. 🙂

  5. marktamis says:

    Not only do people need to buy into it through concertation, but it should also be supported through HR policy and gouvernance. People may like the idea of collaboration and input their time and effort for a while, but if there is no motivator to do so they will quickly turn back to getting their own assigned tasks done.

    Changing the way employees are measured and compensated, as well as the way their managers are measured is a key driver to adoption.

    The Enterprise 2.0 toolset is just that, tools that facilitate collaboration, knowledge sharing, innovation etc. If your corporate culture is not accompanied and driven to change through policies and gouvernance, these tools are just like having a Ferrari with only one gallon of gas – you’re not going to drive very far.

    • Interesting example of the Ferrari, Mark. 🙂 HR policy i believe can get things going in a particular direction. What i am saying here is that the idea is to change people look at something within the organization, and i agree that HR policy can be a tool for this because this could over a period of time bring about change.

  6. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Gil Yehuda, craighepburn. craighepburn said: RT @gyehuda: Lots of people talking about E2.0 lessons from Germany. Here's one #e20s […]

  7. […] i have written before, the key to e 2.0 is that decision-making, and the responsibility that goes along with it is […]

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