This just (finally) in: Organizations are seeking to capture the power of collaboration and user-generated content! Or: Enterprise 2.0 will become a $4.6 billion industry by 2013!
This is great news for the temperature and tenor of organizations as we move into the future. Since 2.0 is built on transparency and meritocracy, organizations will now have the great joy of openly communicating with one another ... with a true sense of authenticity pulsing through their corporate veins.
Wait. Companies will have the joy of openly communicating with one another ... with authenticity pulsing through their corporate veins ...
How? By plugging in a few wires and adding some new technical widgets?
Nuh-uh. It ain't that simple.
While Enterprise 2.0 offers some of the best and brightest technological tools, there's one reality that continues to be hidden in the shadows:
You need people to power it effectively.
Or as frank's own Jacqueline Prescott, Organizational Development guru, says: "I hope companies implementing Enterprise 2.0 are paying equal attention to the organizational culture to support collaborative behaviors ... Social media technology alone, for its own sake will be just another hot buzz word. Remember "The Learning Organization," anyone? How about "TQM"? Or supplier-to-customer data sharing?"
Couldn't agree more. So I asked JP to elaborate. How can organizations take advantage of Enterprise 2.0 and actually make it WORK? She says:
"Social media is an amazing tool for listening and organizational learning. By taking a strategic approach to integrating social media into the organization's vision and existing cultural fabric organizations can improve their chances of maximizing their investment's return."
So it's a blend of strategy and Silicon Valley? Teamwork and technology? JP says, "Yep." And offers the following insights for organizations to consider prior to 2.0 implementation:
1) Ask yourself: what is the desired and current organization culture? Are people generally collaborative, somewhat tech savvy, eager to learn and share, have enough time and energy to do so?
2) Does someone have time to 'own' this? Ideally there's someone in the organization who can tie various comments and complaints back to the organization's bigger picture, give a focus to all the comments being heard from around the organization.
3) What will be done with the information? Letting employees vent via blog with no feedback or obvious leader listening / follow-up will ultimately be more frustrating for employees than if they weren't given tacit invitation / permission to share in the first place.
4) How will social media success be measured? Activity (click-throughs, comments, posts), reaction ("I love this!") or business impact?
5) Will social media be integrated with existing HR / people systems such as employee engagement surveys, making social media part of a robust whole?
Bottom line? Enterprise 2.0 is an incredible, effective way to push your business into new territories of communication and collaboration. Just remember: people make it work. Or not.