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Parents, you know this. They do what you do, not what you say!

by Carol Rozwell  |  November 5, 2013  |  1 Comment

Social apps are still seducing leaders of social initiatives. The seduction of social is simple (and alliterative): because Facebook can grow its adoption to over a billion people without seemingly doing anything, if we just pick the right social app all our employees will start using it.


Employees’ need compelling reasons for using the social apps their organizations provide for them. But that’s only part of the adoption dynamic. And here’s a shocker: well-designed implementations do not have collaboration as the end goal. Nope, that’s correct. Collaboration per se is not the end goal. Well-designed implementations of social apps aim to make it easier for people to get their work done. They are focused and specific to each worker’s needs.

But even some thoughtfully planned efforts lose steam. When this happens, it’s useful to examine whether senior managers have a “do what I say, not what I do” attitude about the enterprise social apps. Because this is the stinging truth: if managers proclaim the need for collaboration, knowledge sharing and the like but are not actively demonstrating their belief in these principles by their activities in social apps, their words belie their truth attitudes. And employees, like petulant children, will pick up on this disconnect and emulate what their leaders do, not what they say.

It’s essential to help senior managers, as well as the sponsors of social initiatives, recognize what “support” means. With previous technology roll-outs it might have been enough to say nice words about how much better one’s work life will be when the new functionality is available. But social initiatives are different. Senior leaders must make sure their words and their actions are consistent.

Category: change-management  collaboration  social-media  social-networks  

Tags: change-management  collaboration  collaboration-dynamics  leadership  organizational-change  social-media  social-networking  social-networks  socially-centered-leadership  

Carol Rozwell
VP Distinguished Analyst
11 years at Gartner
21 years IT industry

Carol Rozwell is a vice president and distinguished analyst on Gartner's Digital Workplace team. Read Full Bio

Thoughts on Parents, you know this. They do what you do, not what you say!

  1. Carol, agree with all points and recently posted about same, the point being that managers lives in theory should be made easier by an ESN if they can get past the cultural challenges of becoming a more open organisation. That’s not easier of course. My tuppence worth How Managers Benefit from an Enterprise Social Network

    Walter @adamson

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