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BW Businessworld

Transforming The Enterprise

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The "collaborative organisation" is something that senior managers and eminent management thinkers spend a lot of time thinking about. The problem is that when a company is very small, everyone knows what everyone else is working on, and expertise and knowledge is freely shared. As companies get bigger, it becomes increasingly difficult to manage this sort of knowledge sharing. Formal communication tools such as email never seem to achieve the same level of effectiveness that the informal chats did when the company was smaller.

A few years ago, a Harvard Business School professor coined the term Enterprise 2.0 to describe companies that manage to build systems and processes that allow a far more effective collaboration and information sharing than the traditional organisational systems. Meanwhile, a bunch of companies also started building software tools  taking into account the complexity and processes required in an enterprise setting to make collaboration between employees easier.

Today, an increasing number of companies are trying out these tools to change the way they work and share information about important projects and also routine issues. But how does one start on this journey? What are the tools available if you wish to move from being an Enterprise 1.0 to Enterprise 2.0? And finally, what are the perils in the path? Contributing editor Mala Bhargava, special correspondent Dibyajyoti Chatterjee and correspondent Suneera Tandon take you on a guided tour of the E2.0 movement.

Meanwhile, one organisation, Narayana Hrudayalaya, has started on its own transformation path. Over the past decade, Devi Shetty concentrated on creating a world renowned cardiac care hospital in Bangalore which could offer surgeries at a fraction of the cost of a normal corporate hospital. He also expanded his cardiac care chain to other cities. But now, Narayana Hrudayalaya is embarking on an ambitious journey that will see it not only expand into newer geographical areas, but also into new specialities. Senior associate editor Venkatesha Babu writes about Narayana Hrudayalaya's expansion and also how its model is very different from the path taken by Apollo, Fortis or the Manipal group while building their hospital chains.

(This story was published in Businessworld Issue Dated 05-03-2012)