Tools & Technologies

A "Sop to the Millennials" – Don't Do New Collaboration Tools Just Because Younger Staff Want It

There are good and bad reasons for implementing new collaboration tools. One bad reason is that new employees “expect it” in the office, because this is what they have used at school / university / with friends.

Are you justifying new collaboration tools just because you think your young, emerging workforce expects it? Geoffrey Moore (of ‘Crossing the Chasm’ fame) calls that the ‘worst possible reason’

We’ve all heard this rationale for implementing new collaboration tools– tools such as instant messaging, mobile e-mail, Facebook-for-the-enterprise type tools like SharePoint or Jive, or Twitter-for-the-enterprise tools like Yammer. It’s that this is how young people interact in their personal lives, they’ve grown up with texting and Facebook. So, they’ll expect it when they come to work, and so CIOs have to deliver it.
Beware, says Geoffrey Moore, the consultant and author of “Crossing The Chasm” fame. Moore calls this approach a “sop to the millennials.” Moore and I talked recently about a new paper he has out, and I thought this a particularly great insight. Understand, Moore’s not giving CIOs a flyer to put off implementing new collaboration tools. Rather, it’s warning not to do it for the wrong reasons, and in a way doomed to fail.

Moore says:
– Implementing new tools because you think they want it is “passive aggressive acceptance.”
– There are better reasons for implementing new collaboration tools, such as improving the “critical moments of engagement.”
– If you give younger employees IM on the job, but IM doesn’t make their lives easier … they will laugh at it.

In a similar vein, I wrote Tough Choices: What Wins Out Between Technology Elegance and Human Embrace in February 2007.

Read more: InformationWeek

Categories: Tools & Technologies