Forget Facebook in the Enterprise

Angela argues that the reference to “Facebook in the enterprise” sends the wrong signal to senior executives, and suggests a better business orientation:

As much as Facebook has been a fantastic trailblazer for social technologies, and is an easy way to demonstrate what is meant by “social” software, for the super-conservative senior executive (and even the less senior ones), suggesting that it would be a good idea to create an internal company application where people can spend hours chatting socially with their friends, upload photos of their kids and various exploits, and spend hours playing gimmicky games, is hardly going to sell the concept.

Even when you get past this, and explain that social collaboration is about taking advantage of social techniques and technologies to create a more engaging, communicative and collaborative working environment, it is frequently still painfully difficult to get those key stakeholders past the concerns that creating this type of open, unrestricted communications platform is a recipe for anarchy. “We don’t want our dirty laundry to be held up for all to see” or “We don’t want to give employees with a grudge a platform like that” are not uncommon concerns, nevermind the views that it’s just encouraging people to “waste time” while they should be “working”.

So how do you overcome these negative impressions? How can you show them that it’s the opportunities that social collaboration brings that are key, and that these concerns are misplaced?

The first thing to do is to focus on the business need.

Read more: No really, social collaboration is NOT a waste of time

Michael’s Comments
1. Agreed.

2. Without a strong business focus, social collaboration WILL BE a tremendous waste of time at work. If there isn’t a business driver for it, don’t go there.

3. In Collaboration Roadmap (2011) I use a framework called Collaboration Scenarios as a way of helping organizations to explore where and how new collaboration and social technologies can make a difference to work practices. As the book says, though, you need to choose the scenarios that align with the type of work done at your firm.

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