Web 2.0 finds its payday by @McKQuarterly

I’ve commented on the McKinsey Web 2.0 surveys in an earlier blog post. McKinsey just published the outcome of this year’s research, comparing internally networked, externally networked and fully networked organizations. The result: Fully networked organizations perform better in terms of market share and profit margins. Study participants named faster access to knowledge, increased marketing effectiveness and reduced communication costs as some of the main advantages of technology adoption. The authors, Bughin and Chui, also report that more employees within the same organization are now making use of more Web 2.0 technologies compared to previous years. Positive feedback loops seem to facilitate organizational learning. McKinsey predicts that investments in these technologies are bound increase. This is in line with Gartner’s expectations.

There was one finding that I thought was particularly noteworthy: Self-reported market leadership correlated negatively with externally networked organizations. Market leaders tend to focus on internal collaboration, but shield themselves from external ties. The authors of the study suggest that this is to do with maintaining their leadership position. Market challengers, on the contrary, are more focused on external uses of Web 2.0 technologies to win clients over. Would you agree?

Social Media & Organizational Learning: A Lesson

Recently, I co-lectured a number of sessions on Organizational Learning at the University of Nottingham and talked to students on various programs about how organizations leverage exisiting networks and use social media to foster knowledge creation and collaboration. I introduced some of the concepts described in earlier posts, such as Ross Dawson’s Social Media Strategy Framework and Brian Solis’ Conversation Prism.

Furthermore, I tried to embed the aforementioned practitioner models in a more theoretical context. For this purpose, I used the papers by Inkpen & Tsang (2005) as well as Nahapiet & Ghoshal (1998). We explored the concept and dimensions of social capital and looked at how the latter may affect knowledge processes within networks.

I closed the sessions with a McKinsey survey which presents various tools that are currently used for internal knowledge management. Wikis, Blogs, RSS feeds and Video sharing were the killer applications in this category. I was very pleased with the questions raised during the sessions and the presentations that were produced as a result of my engagement. What a great feeling to inspire other minds. However, this doesn’t just work one way. One of the students, who used to be with Pfizer, a pharmaceutical company, shared with us some of the tools and concepts they used at work. This is how we met Jessica a.k.a. Dr. Enterprise 2.0.


Inkpen, A. C., & Tsang, E. W. K. 2005. Social Capital, Networks, and Knowledge Transfer. Academy of Management Review, 30(1): 146–165.

Nahapiet, J., & Ghoshal, S. 1998. Social Capital, Intellectual Capital, and the Organizational Advantage. Academy of Management Review, 23(2): 242–266.