Doing Enterprise Social Media The Wrong Way

I saw an article last week about why CIOs are doing enterprise social media the wrong way.

Just a few years ago, skepticism abounded over the place of enterprise social media. Sure it made sense to communicate with customers via social media, but what place did this sort of technology have inside the business? Today, one would be hard-pressed to find a business not providing a social networking platform, be it Yammer, Jive, offerings from Microsoft or IBM, or some type of homespun intranet.

The question now is how well these offerings serve the purposes of collaboration and business transparency. Deloitte’s recent survey on corporate culture suggests executives and employees are of distinctly differing opinions. For example, in the survey of 1,000 workers and 300 executives at U.S. companies, 45% of executives said social media has a positive impact on their workplace culture, while only 27% of employees agreed.

The key argument put forward was that making social business technology available inside the organization was insufficient to derive value. Many people are contented with the tools they currently have, and while the capabilities in new social business platforms appear “cool” to some, they don’t result in automatic adoption by most. Approaches to addressing the problem included (a) linking the tools to people’s current work, (b) thinking “change management,” and (c) understand how people really work today.

Given you are reading my blog, the above will come as no surprise to you. In my book Collaboration Roadmap, I lay out the roadmap to success. It’s a play on the “roadmap” word, and looks like this:
– Really Understand the Technology
– Outline the Vision
– Accept that Technology is a Small Factor in Success
– Determine Your Governance Approach
– Make Every Effort to Engage the Business
– Apply Intentional Energy to Adoption
– Pursue Increasing Value

And in my more recent book, User Adoption Strategies, I provide a set of 20 strategies that you can use to approach the user adoption challenge. I don’t call it “change management” (for various reasons), but the thinking and mindset advocated in the book is similar.

If you have responsibility for the success of collaboration initiatives at your place of work and don’t have my books, please order your copies online.

If you already have copies (thanks!), what results are you experiencing? It would be great to discuss your work.

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