Why JP Rangaswami is arguably the world’s leading Enterprise 2.0 practitioner


We are very excited to have JP Rangaswami doing the keynote at Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum (by video from UK).

For those who haven’t come across JP’s work – you should have!

For the inaugural Enterprise 2.0 Executive Forum last year, our international keynotes were Andrew McAfee, the Harvard Business School professor who coined the term Enterprise 2.0, and Euan Semple, who had taken the BBC on the Enterprise 2.0 journey. For this year my absolute number one choice for keynote was JP, who is an extraordinary combination of a true visionary and a pragmatic senior executive.

When I thought about all the other people in the world I could invite to speak, almost none were those who are making Enterprise 2.0 happen in organizations. There is still, unfortunately, more talk than action in this space, though there is also the reality that many of the best Enterprise 2.0 leaders and initiatives inside organizations are not visible to the world at large.

Andrew McAfee’s article Enterprise 2.0: The Dawn of Emergent Collaboration (currently free pdf download!) in MIT Sloan Management Review Spring 2006 was the first appearance of the term Enterprise 2.0. The article essentially catalogues what JP Rangaswami was doing in his then role of Global CIO at investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein, and does not mention any other companies innovating internally using web tools. The twin Harvard Business School case studies on Wikis at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein and Blogs at Dresdner Kleinwort Wasserstein published in January 2006 provided many with early insights into the practical business application of these tools from an organization leading the way in their use.

JP has since moved to BT, where he driving many of its most innovative programs, including BT’s 21CN web services and BT’s growing Open Source innovation group.

An indication of how radical JP is in a corporate environment is reflected in how he deals with email:

JP has set up a stringent approach to filtering his email. He throws all email where he is CC’d directly into the trash. Basically, he only reads email directed to him, alone. Of course, for this to have any influence on people’s behavior, he has to loudly and regularly let others know that he is doing this.

More interestingly, he has opened access to his email to his staff. By treating his email as an open forum, he has found that his associates are more involved in his interactions with others. He has found that they can use this — particularly his sent mail — is a great learning opportunity.

JP’s status in the industry is reflected by his awards – he was named CIO of the Year by Waters Magazine in 2003, CIO Innovator of the Year by the European Technology Forum in 2004, European Innovator of the Year in 2005, and was named as one of the 50 Global Agenda Setters in 2007 by silicon.com.

And of course JP is a highly insightful blogger (Confused of Calcutta) and very active on Twitter (@jobsworth).

Those attending the forum will get fantastic insights from JP – we are very fortunate to have him involved.