Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Manager Memo ...Not Working but Networking!

I liked the title from the ZDNet Blog post, ... Not Working, but Networking.  This is catchy, and powerful at the same time.   There is growing consensus that active participation by employees in social channels will provide business value.  But... there are still many managers that haven't yet gotten the 'memo'.  Blogging and tweeting are seen as personal social activities and are discouraged by many managers, since there is not a clear understanding of how it links to their department mission.  It does remind me of the days where employee use of the internet was also viewed as wasting time.   So, what needs to change?  It's easy to say that the culture of the company needs to change, but it's certainly an evolution. I see it in three major phases:
  1. Grass roots efforts by early adopters is the starting point.  Passionate employees go outside 'cultural norms' and participate (with or without specific management permission). Value derived from these efforts can be used to start momentum within a compnay.
  2. Executive leadership needs to set company wide agendas and strategies in support of Social Business.  Once this happens, it can drive support organizations (i.e. HR, Finance, IT) to align to common goals.  This is the phase where cultural norms begin to shift
  3. Company wide management support, especially at the 1st level, is one of the mature phases of the evolution.  When management uniformly supports cross-company collaboration and social conversation, culture will begin to shift.
Social Business is a journey.  I find it fascinating to watch the evolution happen...

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