I am Time Magazine's “Person of the Year” (*) !
(*) As millions of other web 2.0 enthusiasts.
Yes, Time Magazine chose all the bloggers, the wikis’users, the online Forum members and other Web-based collaborators as their Person of the Year 2006 (http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/
This is a fantastic recognition of this exponentially growing movement unleashing a power for the individual equalling that of political leaders!
This power relies on a core principle: a Worldwide reach.
I particularly love the conclusion of the article:
“Web 2.0 is a massive social experiment, and like any experiment worth trying, it could fail. There's no road map for how an organism that's not a bacterium lives and works together on this planet in numbers in excess of 6 billion. But 2006 gave us some ideas. This is an opportunity to build a new kind of international understanding, not politician to politician, great man to great man, but citizen to citizen, person to person. It's a chance for people to look at a computer screen and really, genuinely wonder who's out there looking back at them. Go on. Tell us you're not just a little bit curious.”
My question now is what should this mean for Organizations? The answer must depend on what aspect of the Organization we are considering: internal or external.
Externally, this “new kind of international understanding” will mean new ways for Organizations to reach their customers. However, not simply to communicate but to collaborate with them. Customers will increasingly expect and value being involved throughout the product life cycle, from the idea generation to the after-sales services.
Internally, Organizations will need to quickly realise that many of their collaborators are also “Person of the Year”. They will expect similar collaborative facilities within the Organization to the ones they use at home. Of course, internally you need a higher degree of control than on the Web for security and confidentiality, with user access rights to sensitive information. However, it is also clear that efficiently and effectively connecting all the brains working in an Organization can generate value. How many of us have experienced the annoying realization that a collaborator had the answer to a problem that at the time required external help, simply because you had no easy way of finding the answer internally (in other words, reinventing the wheel).