Most of us understand what Web 2.0 is all about as we move from a read-only web to a read-write or participatory web.
And we are starting to come to grips with so called Enterprise 2.0 where the concept and technologies and social tools of Web 2.0 are moving from the open web into organizations.
It is still early days and there are many issues to be grappled with as we try to balance the structure and stability of the old world with the more fluid and complex nature of the new.
But the "2.0 meme" is starting to affect everything. In a talk in Kuala Lumpur I was asked how you implement Enterprise 2.0 and I was talking about some of the barriers when someone spoke up and said "We will never have Enterprise 2.0 until we have Managers 2.0!” In other words it was managers and their out-dated mind sets that was a major barrier to change,
And a few days later while giving another talk at the National Library in Singapore I found us talking about Libraries 2.0 and Learning 2.0. It then hit me that “2.0” thinking was permeating everything. People were also taking about Business 2.0 and Education 2.0.
So what does this mean in its broadest sense? Well, we are no longer consumers: of goods, services or education - we are all prosumers - we all have the opportunity to create and consume. For the first time we are participants in everything and not the “victims”. Fundamentally it is about "freedom".
We are moving from a world where we were told to do things and where things were structured or planned for us to one where we get to decide what works best for us. We are moving from a mono-culture to a highly diverse ecology.
We are moving from a simple world to a rich, complex, diverse one. One where power is less centralized and more distributed. We are moving from a command and control world to a world where people can do as they please within the boundaries of responsibility.
Another talk I gave in SE Asia was to SAFTI (the Singapore Armed Forces Training Institute) and there I realized that the 2.0 concept could be applied to the military too. In the past warfare was a relatively simple affair; there were rules of engagement and things such as the Geneva convention. It was a male dominated world but now with terrorism, men, women and children are actively involved in the fighting - there are few rules of engagement. Its complex – everyone participates.
The SAFTI talk was the last of 20 talks and Knowledge Cafes over a period of a month and they helped crystallize my thinking. It’s not just about Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 - about tools and technology. Its far more than that. It’s about World 2.0. The “2.0 meme” touches everything.
More than anything we need "Mindset 2.0" or "Thinking 2.0" - new ways of looking at and thinking about the world and seeing the opportunities to work in new innovative ways that these new technologies allow.
Here is a brief comparison of the two worlds. This thinking can be applied in business, in education and learning, to adults and to children and to government and to society. Its not just about technology!
|Knowledge sharing and learning is imposed additional work||Knowledge sharing and social learning is a welcome natural part of people's everyday work|
|Work takes places behind closed doors||Work takes place transparently where everyone can see it|
|IT Tools are imposed on people||People select the tools that work best for them|
|People are controlled out of fear they will do wrong||People are given freedom in return for accepting responsibility|
|Information is centralized, protected and controlled||Information is distributed freely and uncontrolled|
|Publishing is centrally controlled||Anyone can publish what they want|
|Context is stripped from information||Context is retained in the form of stories|
|People think quietly alone||People think out loud together|
|People tend to write in the third person, in a professional voice||People write in the first person in their own voice|
|People especially those in authority are closed to new ideas and new ways of working||Everyone is open to new ideas|
|Information is pushed to people whether they have asked for it or not||People decide the information they need and subscribe to it|
|The world is seen through a Newtonian cause and effect model||The world is recognized to be complex and that different approaches are needed|