Corporations are built of very distinct pieces. People understand their jobs, their duties, and how they will be measured. This very thinking is industrial in nature. It fits well in 1900s-era thinking. If you are a machinist, your job is to turn out perfect gears. If you are a painter, your job is to paint your parts expertly and waste less paint. But in an age where pretty much everything about humanity is a mash-up (we do "work" in cafés; we build businesses by giving away products for free; we let our customers decide our designs), thinking of our organizations as specific pieces, or separate parts, might be the death of companies in the next few years.
My thoughts keep coming back to Rachel Happe from the Community Roundtable, who said that the main benefit and value of social networks (and social media, by extension) is to capture unstructured information that otherwise rushes past without a "bucket" to connect it to the "memory" of an organization. Meaning this: Lots of useful information that comes from making social media and using social networks benefits more than just one "department" at a business.
Let's illustrate this with an example:
Ravi posts on his blog that he just bought the Garglesoft Bookreader, and it's not really all that great for what he wants it to do. He's mad that it won't let him download books from other sites that aren't Garglesoft.
Natasha in Garglesoft customer relations ...