PaidContent has been following the little-noticed story of a very smart enterprise that has opened a window into its internal struggles with a Web 2.0 strategy. It's a rare insight and makes for fascinating reading.
Basically, earlier this year The Economist magazine gave total freedom to an internal group of employees to spend 6 months brainstorming an entirely new online service using any content from within the Economist group. The project's failure to produce a business plan or venture provides interesting lessons in how not to run group collaborations, some of which are quite counter-intuitive.
Most amazingly, the team's shambolic process has been exposed to the public throughout, via the project blog, which was actively covered on Slashdot. When the project was finally buried a few months ago, the group's leader, Economist CIO Mike Seery, wrote a detailed memo drawing out its lessons and making seven recommendations for future projects of its type.
The paper a seldom seen glimpse into the internal struggle that many companies must be going through in one guise or another. It also usefully explodes some myths about the correlation between the degree of freedom and openness a working group is given and their capacity to innovate. Worth a read for any CIO.