I’ve been reflecting on the myriad of client meetings I had during the PPM and Enterprise Architecture Summits. When you have lots of discussions on a single topic in quick succession, it helps you to crystallize the common theme. What I was surprised by is the mystical, magical and miraculous powers some people attach to social.
It’s undeniable that social media as a business communication channel is becoming a complement to other traditional corporate communication approaches. Let’s put that one aside for now.
What I find interesting is the polarity of opinion on social. There are a number of people who want to know how to do “something social” inside their organizations but who think that just because the project will include “something social” it will magically be adopted and prove beneficial to the participants and the organization. They think that if they create a social site, simply because it is social it will free them from all the failed attempts of the past to “do knowledge management” or “create a collaborative work environment.”
At the other end of the spectrum are the companies that are terrified of social. It’s likely a fear of the unknown that makes them think that otherwise dedicated employees would suddenly have their brains sucked out of their heads and become slaves to social media. The fear is that these otherwise busy and productive people will suddenly stop working and spend all day updating their facebook status. This does sound strangely familiar to the things I heard a decade ago about the Internet: “If we give them access to the Internet during work hours, they’ll just spend all day shopping.” Really?
The truth lies somewhere in the middle, as it usually does. Social is neither the ugly ogre nor the magic foo-foo dust that will save a doomed project. Successful social initiatives – those that have the potential to humanize the business – require a specific and meaningful purpose as well new organizational behavior.
Category: Change management Collaboration community Knowledge management Social media Social networks social software Strategic Planning Tags: Change management, Collaboration, Collaboration dynamics, Knowledge management, Organizational liquidity, Rewards, risk, Social media, Social networking, Social networks, social software