In his blogpost about enterprise2.0 Nic Brisbourne talks about enterprise2.0 as being about emergent structures rather than imposed ones. A sort of democratization of the workplace, which fits well with the trends of self-managing workteams and more horizontal structures in organisations. What he writes:
"The notion of “emergent structures” is a complicated and slightly counter intuitive one, yet I am thinking it will be very important in understanding the importance and power of enterprise2.0 apps. Emergent structures are patterns of intelligent behaviour which emerge bottom up from the independent actions of agents with no central control. They are common in nature - ant colonies are an oft cited example. This notion is counter intuitive because it is hard to see how the agents know what to do. The slightly unsatisfactory answer is that this knowledge somehow forms by natural processes of evolution and the agents somehow learn their role. I guess you could make an analogy to the roles people play in teams."
Peter Shelton pointed to this blogpost of Andrew McAfee with an example of a 1000-employee firm in Seattle helping clients with digital advertising and marketing, including intra-and extranets. Their own traditional static intranet has been overtaken by web2.0 tools with built in interfaces using social bookmarking site delicious, voting news site digg and photo sharing site flickr.
"AARF employees have learned to add the tag 'AARF' when they come across a web page (using del.icio.us), a photo (Flickr), or a news story (Digg) that they think will be of interest to their colleagues. Shortly after they add this tag, the bookmark (look at the top of the box), thumbnail of the photo (middle) or headline and description of the story (bottom) show up within the AARF E2.0 Intranet. So AARF has found a fast and low-overhead way to
let its employees share Internet content with each other. It's also free;
these interfaces with del.icio.us, Flickr, and Digg require no fees and no
permissions. I find this simply brilliant." ..."The rightmost section of the page shows the most recent blog posts. At AARF, these include emails to group mailing lists, which are automatically posted to a bloglike page."
Check out the full blogpost for screenshots and more examples. It wasn't hard for the employees to get used to this way of working but he adds that AARF is not a typical workplace, being full of people who slap together mashups in their spare time. Nevertheless, I think web2.0 tools offer an opportunity to have more relevant content with less effort. Now how to introduce this is the big challenge....