Adopting digital technologies is not about replacing an existing system with an upgrade or building a new website. Rather one of the most important impacts of these technologies is to essentially change the way people work. Adopting digital technologies needs to be seen as first and foremost a culture change or probably more appropriately a transformation of their culture. For the full value of the technologies to be realised, people will have to change their mindset and their behaviour.
Many leaders are still trying to figure out whether, when and how they should begin to transform their organization into a “social enterprise.” This post addresses the organizational and workforce characteristics that should be considered in making that decision and taking the necessary actions by addressing three sets of factors: those that matter less than people think, those that matter more than people think, and the one factor that matters most of all.
After a rocky start with technology, I chose to pursue the humanities instead. Over time I learned to appreciate and embrace technology's capabilities. Realizing the power of the Social Web in particular, I became a Social Computing Evangelist. To prove the value of social technologies, I decided in 2008 to "live a life without email." Six years later my belief and commitment are unshaken. What makes the Social Web so special is its ability to humanise us, to remind us all of our ability to connect, share and build relationships with others no matter where they may be in this world. It helps us regain our sense of belonging to a group, our tribe.
The principles of judo should be applied to the change management efforts necessary for successful social software implementations, including enterprise 2.0 systems, social intranets, and digital communities. The core idea is to recognize and accept individuals and organizations as they are, rather than as they should be, and to work with current realities rather than against them. This post offers food for thought about better approaches to achieving social software goals and objectives and invites others to share ideas and examples to further the dialogue.(December 5, 2013)
This article offers high-level guidance for organizations looking to acquire and implement a social software solution to facilitate communication and collaboration in a secure environment via a private digital network (e.g., an enterprise 2.0 or social business platform, a social intranet, a digital community). It provides considerations for getting started, selecting a social software product or service, and designing and implementing the private digital network. (November 27, 2013)
This article highlights the risks associated with public social media platforms and describes how private social networks (aka private digital networks) can reduce those risks while also enhancing communication and collaboration among organizational stakeholders. It counters the main points of resistance offered by organizational leaders and articulates the importance of being prepared to establish a social/digital presence across the privacy spectrum.
Although social technology advocates have been calling for the death of email for several years, it's still the dominant digital channel by which people in organizations communicate and collaborate. The role of email in our work lives should be reduced, however, both because of its own inefficiencies and the increased availability of better tools. Effective leadership is the key to bringing about the required changes in both organizational systems and individual behavior. (November 21, 2013)
The results of a unique and ground-breaking research study (n=644+) indicate four main barriers to increased adoption of social technologies in organizations: lack of knowledge and understanding, unprepared leadership, fear, and the absence of a well-grounded business case. This post highlights those findings and offers recommendations for overcoming the barriers. It also provides a link to a free report with details on the study and its results and invites more people to contribute to the ongoing research. (September 10, 2013)
You know that new social intranet or knowledge-sharing platform you built, beta-tested and launched with great fanfare? It WILL increase your team’s collaboration and productivity, but you need to provide the right level and type of recognition to create the necessary social engagement. This post describes some of the most important factors for organizations and their leaders to consider, including the designation and recognition of subject matter experts, gamification, and leveraging multimedia communication. (August 16, 2013)
A smart and well-designed social intranet enables empowered employees to communicate and collaborate more efficiently and effectively, which in turn can make them more productive and enhance an organization’s ability to achieve its goals and objectives. This post discusses four factors that help create the right environment and facilitate engagement: implementing the right media blend, making the system easy to use, enabling content to find people, and trusting employees.
I recently participated in Fleming Europe's 3rd Annual Global HR Forum, which was focused on employee engagement. My presentation, entitled "Engaging Employees through Social Recognition," highlighted the growing Digital Era trend of using social software to facilitate employee recognition and engagement. This piece shares the deck from that talk, as well as additional observations from the conference. (June 18, 2013)