It pays to give more than lip service to the Web 2.0 trend, with its emphasis on trust and openness. Just look at Cisco Systems.

All decisions at Cisco used to be made by the top 10 people in the company, says CEO John Chambers. Today, he is spreading the company’s leadership and decision-making far wider than before.

Here's how:

• Empowering a network of councils and boards to launch new businesses.

• Evolving a set of Web 2.0 tools,
encouraging executives to work together. Cisco citizens are blogging, uploading videos and using company-created social-networking tools.

• Establishing a new financial incentive system
to spur leaders of business units to work toward one another’s success. One goal is to get more products to market faster, and it’s working.

“The boards and councils have been able to innovate with tremendous speed,” Chambers says. “Fifteen minutes and one week to get a [business] plan that used to take six months!”

Bottom line:
In a networked world, Cisco shows how businesses can best use Web 2.0 tools.

— Adapted from “How Cisco’s CEO John Chambers Is Turning the Tech Giant Socialist,” Ellen McGirt, Fast Company.

Leave a Comment