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Enterprise 2.0 best practices vs. recommendations

"Are there best practices for Enterprise 2.0 adoption?" That's the question Bill Ives asked recently in an article on Content Management Connection. Your gut reaction might be, well yes of course! But hang on there for a moment. Let's think about it.

As Bill wrote, the traditional idea of best practices conjures up the notion of "static, fixed, inalterable, unmodified, unbeatable, perfect." But aren't today's E2.0 and KM concepts much more fluid than that?

Rather than think of best practices in the traditional sense, why don't we call them "high-quality suggestions," or "practices to consider," or simply, "recommendations?" Your best is not necessarily my best. E2.0 means something different to each business's needs and requirements.

However, I don't think that means we should not aggregate our findings and share them with the community. We should still look at best practices and cherry pick what's best for us. In our experience, we've found some consistencies in E2.0 adoption that keep surfacing among our clients. We've written about some of them on our blog in the past, and we're working on publishing more of them in a white paper. Keep your eyes peeled for that.

Bill also quotes the German sociologist Georg Simmel in his article. "Nothing more can be attempted that to establish the beginning and the direction of an infinitely long road. The pretension of any systematic and definitive completeness would be, at least, a self-illusion. Perfection can here be obtained by the student only in the subjective sense that he communicates everything he has been able to see."

This is a very long-winded, but accurate revelation to an old adage: Trial by fire. And I think that's the case with E2.0 adoption and best practices, too.

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