Don't Just Focus on Adoption – It's Misguided: A Warning from Susan

Susan Scrupski, founder of the 2.0 Adoption Council, commented that an exclusive focus on adoption is a dead-end – and I agree:

For an early adopter market, adoption in this space always seems to get a bad rap. Why is that? Because adoption is not the end-game. It’s the beginning. In the Council, the members are focused on changing hearts and minds and promoting the use of social tools in order to drive acceptance for a new way of working. In Deloitte’s excellent report issued today, Social Software for Business Performance, we couldn’t agree more with the findings. In fact, the rap on “adoption” uses our research to make the point. There is no benefit in adoption for adoption’s sake.

My Comments
Generally speaking, a focus on just one thing to the exclusion of everything else is misguided and dangerous. The world is more complex than that. What applies generally also applies to adoption of new collaboration technologies and approaches.

I see the other elements as: figure out the improvement opportunity (as a result of doing work differently, or doing different work, what could happen), find the right technology to support this (if required), work with people to help them embrace the new approach and the new tools, and then seek increasing value. Adoption is just part of the equation, but a critical link between the formulation of the improvement opportunity and its realization, but absolutely, the adoption of the tool may be part of the means, but it’s not the end game.

There has been a greater focus on adoption recently, in my view, because it’s been the missing piece. Too much emphasis on the technology, too little on the people and culture. And that’s why, I wrote the book.

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