Thursday, February 24, 2011

Unlock the power of internal conversations

Most companies have an internal capability to collaborate between employees.  Some have sophisticated social tools that enable their employees to share information within the firewall, while others have manual processes.  To be successful in Social Business:    Internal Conversations + Social Media = Sales Conversations.  As discussed in this referenced blog post, companies should start slowly on this journey.  Start with an agile process that enables fast learning and iteration.  Select specific target areas, assure policies are in place and understood, and measure results.  Over time, with management encouragement, this will drive a culture shift for employees towards open collaboration externally.

For me personally, I am beginning this shift.  When I want to start an internal community/team discussion, I ask myself:  Will we be talking about anything confidential?  If not, would the conversation have higher value if shared externally?  Surprisingly, in many cases the answer is that an externally community could provide additional value and insights.  The next challenge is to get everyone on the team comfortable with open collaboration externally.  It's a slow shift, but I see it beginning to happen.   I'd encourage everyone to begin that thought process and be an early adopter. It's a journey .. the first step is the hardest.

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