Enterprises; You Don’t Exist

Corporate Walled Gardens, Dangerous!

Corporate Walled Gardens, Dangerous!

I’ve always been of the opinion that you don’t work for a company, you work for the people you interact with in the office, on calls and at lunch. This is my statutory response to an all to often posed question:

why do you work for such a huge company?

Now believe me when I say, I sort of agree with many of the reasons for working in a small company: progression is often rapid, the fruits of your labour are noted and, in a sense, you are a crucial resource from day zero.

Now beleive me when I say, I’ve thought about it, long and hard, and I came to a conclusion I never thought I would

Enterprises don’t exist…

Agile guys would tell you an enterprise is about people not technology, cluetrain buffs would tell you business is a conversation and prince2 guys will say there role is to guard their team from corporate BS and guard everyone else from their team. So where does the enterprise exist? Brand.

The Brand (yes I overuse capitals, so shoot me) is the embodiment of the enterprise, loved by some (Apple) despised by others (again Apple) it embodies an enterprises identity and aspirations… But I think even The Brand is dead. Abby is Santander, Norwich Union is Aviva and Woolworths is a penny share, The Brand is a trend, lord knows BT has changed it’s dress more than Paris Hilton over the last couple of decades.

Much has been said about corporate boundries and the rise of Web 2.0 technologies (don’t get me started on that either) so I’ll just reiterate the key points;

  • The corporate walled garden is easily hopped by the use of social media.
  • Any enterprise than shuns social media will miss the boat when it comes to my generation being In control, conversations will be social.
  • Courtesy of Paul Downey; in the intranet no one can hear you blog.

So there we go, now the next time someone asks me why I work for a huge behemoth of a company I’ll tell them

The Enterprise is dead, long live the Benterprise!


5 comments so far

  1. Paul B on

    I disagree brands are dead – they are more vital than ever. You seem to confuse a company name, the logo and the colour scheme they use with the much less tangible emotional relationship that comes from brand.

    That comes from the products and services you consume delivered by or supported by them, the level of service you receive and the place in a market that they hold.

    For these reasons I’d see a strong argument that any problems BT has is failure to change brand and not too much change.

    You mention Woollies brand being a “penny share”, the media attention on Woolies shows that their biggest asset was the brand – I haven’t shopped there in years but I had an emotional attachment to the company for better for worse.

    Totally agree that a belief in a strong walled gardened company is nonsense – we’re all social human beings and it all leads back to the Business 101 lesson; know what you do, do it well, get others to help with the things they do better.

  2. benjaminnickolls on

    The emotional tie you felt to Woolies was useless because it didn’t get you into the store… lets agree that non-emotive brands are useless? I will buy anything with a little Apple on it but I don’t give a crap about a WHSmiths pencil case.

    Am I wrong?

  3. Paul B on

    Hate is closer to love than indifference.

    I believe Woolies failed the business 101 example by loosing any core business. Something WHSmiths are on the verge of IMO.

    Woolies was unsuccessful but the brand was a perfect success. The brand told me emotionally they were a confused and ill defined company and that’s why I haven’t shopped there in years. I never even went in, they may have had exactly what I wanted but my emotional attachment told me to steer clear.

    The important thing is they had some space in my consciousness they were free to manipulate and show me they had changed but didn’t.

    So I’d say Brand is emotive by definition, a brand you perceive negatively is bad for that company but remains a powerful brand just for the wrong reasons.

  4. BenJam on

    But a brand that you feel indiffernetly about is neither successful nor emotive and has failed, one way or the other.

  5. Paul B on

    That’s exactly my point – a brand you feel indifferent towards (probably through lack of exposure) is an ‘unsuccessful brand’ – but the *concept* of brand remains truly powerful.

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