Improving collaboration, breaking down silos, and innovating better. What does that all mean?

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.

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The Yin and Yang of Enterprise 2.0

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.

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