This is the fourth post of a multi-post series covering the discussion between SOCIALtality founder and 20-year Fidelity-enterprise veteran, Wendy Troupe and myself. The topics of our discussions were around Social Media, the emerging Enterprise 2.0 movement and the issues facing companies contemplating adoption. Yesterday we addressed why enterprise 2.0 market predictions vary so greatly. Today we are going to discuss a few strategic principles for successful incremental Enterprise 2.0 implementation.
Question 4:What strategic principals should guide that incremental integration approach to ensure the chances of success
To really see successful adoption companies need to focus on the benefits of the user first and the benefits of the company second. You can’t approach a user and ask them to change behaviors because it benefits the company. Companies need to approach the user and tell them how it will benefit them. This is a bit of psychological approach but it’s important. Employees put their needs first and company needs second so if you show them how Enterprise 2.0 can help them make their job easier then they are much more likely to listen.
You also need to focus on use cases before deploying a platform and strategy. So for example how is someone in the marketing department going to benefit from Enterprise 2.0 vs someone from the product development team. You need to develop use cases for the various departments and understand what the risks, challenges, and opportunities are for each department. Finally, you need to understand how each department is going to measure success/failure. I’ll go into this a bit more in a future post but the point here is that everyone is going to have different needs and you must understand what those needs are.
You need to speak in terms of “supporting” rather than “changing”. “Change” implies that people are doing things wrong. “Support” however, implies that you recognize value of their efforts and you want to help further those efforts. You can’t walk into a company and say “you guys are idiots, everything you’re doing is wrong,” because that’s not going to accomplish anything.
Planning for the long-term is also essential, we’re talking over a year here. In an organization of 30,000 people, it’s going to take time to shift habits and methodologies. You need to have a realistic understanding of just how long integration is going to take and plan accordingly. Finally, you need to invest time and energy into education, policies, and guidelines (aka governance). Creating ambassador programs is key. You want people teaching and encouraging each other to use the tools.
I think, at the top level, there has to be clear corporate guidelines, rules of engagement and mutually agreed upon expectations. These have to be passed down from level to level, modified and adjusted according to each levels needs.
There has to be a central support group that can be accessed at any level, by anyone – a group that is directly responsible for the education, support and advocacy of the tool.
You need to provide an enabling environment and a clear set of realistic deliverables for each level of the organization. It’s important for management to formalize the expectations and shift key employees responsibilities to include a percentage of time devoted to enabling the integration.
To read the other posts in this series please see below: