Adoption & Effective Use

5 Reasons Why Corporate Social Tools Fail – I Agree with Some, Question Others

Aliza at GigaOM outlined 5 reasons why corporate social tools fail, and what to do about it:

While millions of people interact daily in public-facing social media channels, there are a growing number of internal social media solutions for the enterprise, becoming modern-day intranets of sorts. But do these systems work? And why might trying to bring social tools inside your gated corporate walls fail? Here are just a few reasons for corporate social networking failure — and ways to avoid them.

The reasons are:
– 1. lack of a social culture
– 2. lack of public participation
– 3. lack of training
– 4. lack of access
– 5. lack of willingness

My Comments
Adoption of collaboration tools and approaches is key part of my work, so it’s good to see Aliza address this issue.

On the culture one, which I fully agree with, my saying is “collaboration is enacted through technology; technology does not make us collaborative.” Merely putting in new technology will not cut the mustard.

On public participation, this is a double edged sword. In some ways public participation makes internal participation easier – they already know the technology and how to make it work – but in other ways, if there is no substance behind the technology and its usage, they will quickly become your loudest critics.

On training, training is overrated. You need more than that – as my book on user adoption says.

On lack of access to external tools, mmm, probably not that big of a deal.

On lack of willingness, sure, if people are unwilling, they won’t do it. The real task, though, is to make the new tools an integral part of the new way that teams and groups get their work done, not an extra way of telling people you’re going out for coffee.