Things you will never hear me say at work:
- “I’ll file my expense reports in Google Expenses since I like the interface better.”
- “I don’t record my client interactions in the official CRM system. I just keep a spreadsheet on my hard drive and hope my paychecks keep coming.”
- “I’ll just send an email to HR instead of updating my benefits information on the HR website”
Why not? I wouldn’t get my expenses reimbursed, wouldn’t get credit for any client interactions, and wouldn’t be signed up for a health plan. I’m required to use the official systems for these well-defined tasks.
Accordingly, our financial system, CRM system, and HR system have achieved something collaboration system owners can only dream of: 100% adoption! It’s amazing how an argument such as “your baby will not have health insurance if you don’t log into this system and fill out the form” can result in such quick compliance.
Alas, I spend my time talking about “optional” systems. It would be nice if I’d post up a FAQ document in a collaboration workspace instead of emailing it to some people, keeping it on my hard drive, or putting it on a shared drive. But, like most companies, no hammer is going to come down on me if I don’t share it properly. This also applies to usage of wikis, social networking, co-authoring, shared lists, and other collaborative systems: they are optional.
Executives will say “collaboration is not optional … you’re rated on it in your annual reviews … we cannot compete unless we optimize our productivity, which means using the advanced collaboration tools available … we’ve told people to fill out their profiles and put documents on the intranet instead of email” That all sounds good, but for me today, nothing bad happens if I email out the FAQ document instead of posting it.
This is why so much time is spent talking about “adoption” for SharePoint and other collaboration systems. When people have to choose to collaborate, soft power becomes a mandatory skill.
And that is why I’ll be running a workshop at our Catalyst conference called “Improving Adoption of Collaboration and Social Technology.” I’m building out the collaboration adoption model I posted about in January to provide a basis for conversation among the participants. I look forward to unveiling the revised model and learning about what’s worked (and hasn’t). I hope to see you there!