The two visions of the Company 2.0: Appearance or the engine of a management method?

In our unceasingly changing world, new management methods have emerged in recent years. Companies offer different ways to implement the Company 2.0. Origen said that “the qualities of the good can be more easily seen by contrasting them with bad.” How could we know that the light is good, if we don’t know the darkness of the night? Who would enjoy the sweetness of honey without having tasted something bitter?”.

The universe of business doesn’t stop evolving, management theories are constantly disrupted, and recently we have seen new methods emerging. In this context, companies offer different approaches to set up the Company 2.0. They can interpret or apply it more strictly, but we can see two major groups standing out. Here are the two groups offering to put into practice: • A concrete and internal application with innovative processes, with a willingness to open up to the outside world. Thus their employees have access to the digital world, professional social networks or shared information channel. • A derived application with the use of the corporate image 2.0 by communicating in modern networks about the company itself, but limiting access to its employees to these networks, parallel to the company ones. The employee, faced with these two visions of the Company 2.0, will have a different perception of these approaches: → In the first case, they will have the feeling of belonging to a company transmitting an innovative image and will live a real implementation of these principles; → In the second case, which reflects the situation of the majority of current companies, it is surprising to see the divergence of opinion between the external image of the company and the and the difficulties in making good use of these principles every day.

“You do not have right to access these pages, the internal rules are limiting access to this website.¨

Once again, the internal firewall gave its answer to the employee who, after a conference, wanted to find a video presenting the innovations of his industry. And yet, this time he thought that he would be able to. He even completed all the appropriate forms to allow access to the website, justifying its professional nature. The IT security engineer guaranteed him last week: “Don’t worry, you’ll have access.” Once again, the firewall came into action. It’s not necessary to look for the information on LinkedIn or Twitter … those two websites are also blocked. Fortunately, with his own smartphone, he doesn’t have to overcome all those obstacles and can access this professional content in 2 clicks without spending his monthly data plan. The employees of these two types of companies, described in the first paragraph, will have a very different reaction when seeing the difficulties that they have encountered:

→ In the first case, it would strengthen their feelings of belonging to a true company 2.0, that doesn’t put algorithmic walls between the employees and the external world. They will think that the company that calls itself ¨2.0¨ but blocks access for employees to information using firewalls can’t claim itself to be ¨2.0;¨

→ In the second case, they would identify with the company. They will repeat their own experiences with the firewall that blocks them access to websites every day. They will think that their company, even if it’s claiming itself to be ¨2.0¨ must evolve to better interact with the needs of its employees.

“If you run into a wall, don’t turn around and give up. Figure out how to climb it, go through it, or work around it.” Michael Jordan said.

Nowadays, the access and the development of modern means of communication allow these two visions of the company to coexist in the same universe. Michael Jordan, who spent his career looking for solutions to take his team to the height of fame, illustrates this duality of methods in reaching the goal. At times, he was easily able to transmit the ball or score and help his team-mates in winning. During other matches, he met obstacles, was faced with an unexpected complexity and had to find solutions to pick himself up and win.

Employees of the two types of companies described would come to different conclusions on how to see the image of their own company and of others. Despite the similarity of companies at first sight, they are not subject to the same constraints.

Their perceptions of the interprofessional relationship differ greatly:

→ In the first case, they have direct access to the web and professional social media. They constantly feel at the heart of the network and can interact with other elements of this or other networks.

→ In the second case, they find other indirect means of communication. Their networks, which can be destroyed or blocked in some places, are, are reformed with other means and other ways.

They know that they can’t stay out of this community universe that makes them progress. They look for different ways to achieve the same goal. A French proverb says that “The most beautiful butterfly is only a dressed caterpillar”. The virtual world is changing and starting to reconcile several universes. The appellation may remain Company 2.0 or become 3.0. But it’s too early to reach such a definitive conclusion.

Some obligations have to be studied, because you can not share everything in the digital world. Certain sectors of the company will probably remain more confidential than others (i.e. in the case of patents).

The relationship between professionals changes, evolving towards a golden age where established connections will be more complicated to break. You will find a new balance and professional social networks will help you. In the coming years they will be born

Other types of social media and networks will be born and nobody knows the limits of the current ecosystem.

Alban Jarry

Translation with Sophie Perrin

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