Expert Profile – View

What is your name?

Thierry de Baillon. Well, my full name is Cappe de Baillon, but I am often bored explaining people how to spell it 😉

Who are you and what are you doing?

I am an incorrigible learner and empathic observer of human creations and interactions, who never takes what he is told for granted.
More concretely, I am consultant at 90:10 Group in Paris, helping companies to understand that business will never be the same again and to bridge internal collaboration with the customers' world.

How did you get to the E2.0 topic?

As a past marketer and designer, I have seen over years an increasing discrepancy between the creativity and spontaneity that people expressed in their day-to-day life, and the rigidity with which most companies pushed products and services which were supposed to meet those people's expectations. My job at that time was mainly to give life to new concepts and products meeting customers' needs, but these needs were determined from the company's point of view, not the customer's one. Designing products with a marketer's mindset (at that time, "marketing" much more meant adopting the customer's point of view than its current sales-related acceptance) often drove me into the realm of organizational design.
Then came the Internet, which dramatically changed the way people accessed information, and where I naturally turned to, as a toolset for my "analog" activities first, then as the substance of my work itself. I "designed" digital strategies and websites for a while.
When 2.0 services began to invade the public web, another change took place: even if the term "social media" is universally accepted, it stroke me that the internet suddenly wasn't just a new media to work with, but was the catalyst for a totally different range of behaviors. My old demon within woke up: using those technologies for external facing activities, whether they are communication or sales, would only be successful if mirrored by an internal shift.

What is your understanding of the core concept of the Enterprise 2.0 idea?

Like Web 2.0 represents all the socio-economical changes triggered and sustained by social technologies on the open web, for me, Enterprise 2.0 represents a new organizational form, both facilitated by internal adoption of enterprise-class social technologies, and leveraged (even challenged) by the generalization of similar technologies in the open web.
Enterprise 2.0 is a radical shift in the way we think about work, and about organizations. I think of it as a continuum where employees, customers and other stakeholders interact to allow for new economical interactions, which is what we call Open Business at 90:10. The service-dominant logic of marketing, as theorized by Steve Vargo, and co-creation of value by both organizations and customers, as highlighted by Henry Chesbrough and others, both closely relate to Enterprise 2.0 as I understand it.
Internal collaboration is just a chapter of Enterprise 2.0, probably not even the most important.

What are the main potentials of the Enterprise 2.0 idea?

We are just beginning to grasp the implications of social technologies, and I don't see many mentions of the causes of the shift which is happening. Talking about "potentials" without thinking about the causes doesn't make very much sense for me. New technology always has a great disruptive potential, but never springs up in the void. It catches up when corresponding to societal issues.
Among these causes, I see the increasing complexity of economical and business environments, the breathlessness of present hierarchy-based organizations in search of endless growth and efficiency gains, and a general need for more meaning and "depth" in our lives.
In this context, Enterprise 2.0 offers a new point of view: tackling complexity with collective intelligence, redefining work, as more focus on individual capabilities and continuous learning, and ultimately shaping a new paradigm for organizations, what Jon Husband defines as wirearchy, and whatCharles Handy spoke of as a club culture.

What are the main challenges, threads and issues of the Enterprise 2.0 idea?

Here lies a classical paradox. As well as new technologies can be disruptive, they may also enforce present behaviors, misleading people toward an even worse business-as-usual mindset.
In this sense, I see the integration of social technologies and behaviors into present workflows and processes more as an issue than as a step toward Enterprise 2.0. Of course, this might lead to more efficiency and productivity, and soften some pain points of workers' tasks. But this also enforces control, albeit in a subtler way. What is the use of a collaborative problem solving or ideation platform, if decision making is still left to the same people? We live in a world of uncertainty, which requires agility and resilience at each and every level. This doesn't only implies management, as many think, but everyone from line workers to CEOs. The era of visionary leaders might be over. Until we cross this chasm, Enterprise 2.0 won't be able to live up to its promise.

Please give us three tags that describe your person and work best?

Complexity, resilience, learning

Please give us three links to articles/contributions that describe your views best?

  • [[">Tackling Complexity and Wicked Problems with Design Thinking (co-written with Ralph-Christian Ohr)]]
  • [[">Moving Beyond "Work as Usual" in a Complex World]]
  • [[">Social Media: Thinking Over Words Meaning ]]
Please give us three names of colleagues that you would refer to as brother-in-spirit?

  • [[">Paula Thornton]]
  • [[">Jon Husband]]
  • [[">John Hagel]]