Let’s Ditch The “Social” Part

Over the past year plus, I have been pushing for using Enterprise 2.0 capabilities to improve communications and collaborating. We have some basic problems with our internal folks and there understanding of these capabilities.

  • Many understand them as “social” computing. This understanding clouds their judgement right off the bat. Social does not apply to work. Tried changing the name to Enterprise 2.0; upper management said no – easier to remember it as social computing. Is that the passive way to insure that the program will struggle? You be the judge, I know I have my opinion.
  • Many senior leaders are excited to try the capabilities, but don’t know where to begin. The ask their communications folks to add this as yet another way to communicate to the troops. (No real strategy or plan, just use it like email or newsletters. Recipe for success? Wonder why you need yet another approach following the same techniques. I found one senior person, tell me that their comms person writes all communication for him to the troops. I asked, “do you think your folks know?” Of course they know.
  • Security or other threats of legal nature, simply scare putting in policies that make the capabilities not user friendly. We all know that email is still the largest collaborative tool. Having an opt in policy for social computing – just is not right. For me, I never opted into the email blast or newsletters. So, why a different policy for social computing?
  • Plenty of dipping the toe into the pool, but no jumping in! We will try it, but if I don’t see results quickly, well this is just a waste. I can not believe how many times I have witnessed the one and done. No strategy, no plans and no commitment – well what did you expect?

Everyday I listen to someone tell me they need a new way to communicate and/or collaborate. When I probe into the reasons as well why they are asking – here is the list of items:

  • Globally dispersed team, with very little overlap in direct verbal discussion.
  • Travel budgets are cut.
  • Everything to just is not working.
  • Need more innovation.
  • Time to information is key to success in the future.

The reasons all seem spot on for me! Why no real change? Fear – maybe. Change is hard – no one likes their cheese being moved. Letting go of command and control – more than likely. Scary software – sure, email and the Internet were once. It is time to really take the risks and jump into the pool. Isn’t it?

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  • Dave Wade

    I work with Steve and underline all of the above. Would it not have been interesting if social computing started in private enterprises and corps had knighted it enterprise 2.0? Would the rest of the world be saying “let’s not call it social, call it enterprise 2.0 so as to not confuse the rest of the world?”.

    I say it with tongue in cheek, but I think enterprises want to call it social and under the rug because they are burned that it was not invented in the enterprise :). In the meantime, the world gets more and more connected and many enterprises are slow to adopt. Those that do adopt have a significant competitive advantage and not to be discounted. Just watch in the next two years…