- What is the business value? Or what is the ROI for deploying professional networking, blogging, micro-blogging, wiki’s and whatever else is out there? When you talk about the various use cases and how each of these could help with productivity and collaboration – the normal response is that is nice, but what is the real value (dollars).
- These tools are really nice and all for the outside (personal use), they take up a lot of cycles for the user and frankly it is like goofing off. Managers need their folks to be focused on the tasks at hand, not spending time with these toys. The fact that an employee put out a micro-blog on a question about something that they were working on – and within minutes got plenty of answers – was not viewed as productive.
- People are posting very sensitive material, we can not let our intellectual property get out (to the outside world or even to employee’s inside that don’t have the right to know). You can put in safe guards, but it all really comes down to people. Seems that people are not to be trusted to do what is right or procedure.
- Perception is all people do is bitch. These tools are a forum for folks to bitch somewhat anonymously. Trying to point out that these are opportunities for two way communications, just does not cut it.
I think everyone can safely say that for businesses external social computing is definitely a go forth and use. Internally on the other hand, that is definitely not the case. I have been participating on many efforts internally and have witnessed a very long list of fears. Are these fears real or just roadblocks?
Here are some of the fears that I think managers are putting forth:
These are fears… Fear of losing some command and control. As a manager, I like when folks come to me for answers or bounce ideas off me for potential input. If I let them use these tools, I could lose some of my worth? Not really, I want to participate. That is not how most other managers feel. I remember back in the days when teams were being asked to be more self directed… When it failed, it failed from the supervisor or manager level. They were afraid that this was going to take away some of their job and make them expendable. I remember sitting with my fellow supervisors in training, listening to them point out all the ways that this will fail. For some of them, those failures came true. I personally did everything that I could to make it work – and it worked out well. Fast forward to now and the social tools, for everything that I am allowed to use internally, I do everything to try to get my team to participate. Slowly the team is seeing the value and are using them. For the stuff that is not internal yet, I still use – just to keep getting the necessary information to help me internally (and externally) but I do not discuss what is going on internally with the external world.
Does anyone have any internal social computing? Are you seeing the same fears? Have you been able to address them?