A Definition of Enterprise 2.0

Together with a German college we are conducting a study on Enterprise 2.0. It is an exciting project. The students have prepared a first draft of the questionnaire. And they have done a pretty good job too. However, one of the first questions – obviously – is the definition of Enterprise 2.0.

Since a couple of years Enterprise 2.0 has been keeping me busy and I have read and talked a great deal about it. I still haven’t found the right definition though. Andrew McAfee, who coined the term Enterprise 2.0, defines it as:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.

While this may have been the case in 2006 I don’t think that this definition comprises the scope Enterprise 2.0 (should) have today. As I have already posted in my short post on the basics of Enterprise 2.0:

“Enterprise 2.0 is not about the tools, its about the culture” and “Enterprise 2.0 is really about the conversation, not the medium”.

Or to put this into other words: It is not about “what” tools you use, it is about “how” you use them. Having a blog does not make a company an Enterprise 2.0 company neither does having a Wiki.

Therefore, I was thinking of a definition somewhat along these lines:

Enterprise 2.0 is the use of web 2.0 concepts and technologies within companies, or between companies and their partners or customers.

Instead of concepts one could also write “mindsets” or “ideas”. With these mindsets I mean: credibility, authenticity, decentralization and openness.

What do you think? I would love to hear your suggestions for a good definition.