Many believe that introducing gamification to social business systems can and will drive behavior change inside of organizations. Introducing these components will certainly cause many people to act differently, but will the changes be the desired changes, or will they actually make things worse?
Over the past 4 years, I’ve seen some incredible successes implementing social business solutions both personally and from my peers. As I look for my next opportunity to drive social business inside of organizations, I wanted to build and share a list of principles that I believe are critical for the success of any social business strategy.
- Focus on other’s success, not your own - This isn’t about you. Your key objective should be to make the people who can benefit from social successful. You can do this by offering possible solutions to their business challenges without being preachy. Establish a good reputation inside the company as a person who will help you be successful. One way to facilitate this would be to share your goals & objectives publicly so that others can see what your motivations are. (see: http://greg2dot0.com/2012/06/21/transparent_goals/) Continue reading
As we look at enterprise social networking and the benefits it enables, it’s clear that the companies perform better when people collaborate. Yet as individuals, collaboration is not necessarily how we’re judged and rewarded. This usually has to do with our objectives which tend to be very focused on being individual contributors. Even executives’ objectives tend to be focused toward organizational performance, and sometimes these objectives can only be achieved at the company’s or other executive’s expense.
When dealing with new people inside a large company, it is common to question why people are acting the way they are and be suspicious of motives. This is often because people don’t understand what your role is inside the company and as a result, that lack of understanding and trust can make getting things done challenging.
Microsoft is no stranger to enterprise. It’s been doing it for over 30 years. But what is a challenge, is Microsoft is a technology company that interfaces primarily with IT. This is the group that traditionally believes their job ends at deployment. Social Business on the other hand is a space where deployment is the easy part. Getting business people to leverage the technology to do things differently is really hard. The limited success of Microsoft Dynamics is one example of what happens when Microsoft tries to interface directly with the business.
In many companies, the relationship between the business and IT is strained at best, but even in companies where the relationship is good, it’s unclear that IT has the expertise or capability to drive social adoption within a company. This is for many reasons:
I’ve been in the Enterprise 2.0/Social Business space for almost 5 years now, and have been both on the customer and vendor side of the table. What most people are guilty of, is really not knowing what the heck they want to do. I was guilty of it too. I thought Improving Collaboration and Breaking down silos were great business problems to solve. It was until recently that I started focusing around the business value of Enterprise Social that it hit me. Most people talk in jargon and have very little insight into what the underlying business problems are that they are trying to solve. Don’t get me wrong, they know their business problems, but in most cases haven’t connected the dots between problem and solution. Why? Because it takes a lot of analysis and thought to develop that understanding and most of us lack the time to do it.
Over my next few posts I will examine this jargon and help people understand each of these, very vague, clearly misunderstood, terms used around social collaboration inside of companies and help people help their organizations to get past the jargon to provide real business impacts.
I must admit, it caught me totally off guard. It snuck up on me at the most inopportune time. It was my first call with my new boss. As a result, I didn’t represent myself in a way that I wanted. It caused me to act out in ways that reminded me of my kids. Yet, I remind myself even more that could be exactly how I make others feel when trying to push change through an organization.
Occasionally, I want to share posts that I post internally with a broader audience that I believe we all face in the Enterprise 2.0 space. This post was a result of real conversations that I’ve had with people about our internal social collaboration space (called: “Engage”).
I’ve had some interesting dialog with people lately about Engage. From “My boss is making us do this ‘Engage thing’” to “I don’t have time”, to “This is so confusing”. These are all real concerns and apprehensions. I believe that as a community, it is our job to welcome and help these people face and perhaps overcome these apprehensions and help them “fit in”.
Let’s face it, most of us disdain arrogance, yet some of us practice this unbecoming behavior unintentionally. In this very competitive world, it is very difficult to exude confidence to make people believe in you without sounding arrogant, but yet that challenge is what each of us must consider when managing our brands.
As brand fanatics, we align ourselves to certain brands in both our personal and professional lives. How would you feel if that trusted brand started trying to make itself look good by putting the competition down or embarrassing you? Would you still be a brand fanatic? For how long?
Social may be a 4 letter word in some companies, but I have to wonder why? Social is nothing new to enterprises, the only thing is we are now labeling it.
In the “Old Days”, companies encouraged their workers to socialize and party together. Sometimes even going so far to build communities for their workers to live in. Why did they do this? For the company of course. The feeling was that this interaction made people work better together producing more, generating more profit, building loyalty.
A more recent trend was to replace offices with cubes. While some would state that the purpose was to reduce cost of real estate, others suggest that this was done to encourage casual knowledge exchange. While I personally didn’t like the distractions of a cube, the things I heard over cube walls helped me on many occasions.
I can’t speak for you, but in my company, there’s the constant debate about tools and behaviors. The leadership says we need to change behaviors, but the users usually say that we need better tools. Who’s right? They both are of course. While each point of view has merit, neither works independently without the other. It is by providing easy to use tools in a delicate balance of introducing and demonstrating new behaviors that Enterprise 2.0 really takes off.
Let’s take the typical IT View and only introduce a tool. Commonly called “Build it and they will come” model. Will they really come? Sometimes yes, more often no. People generally don’t have the time in their schedules to experiment on new platforms and figure out how to integrate them into their daily work-flow and still meet the demands of the corporate world.