Just listened to a good quality discussion on The Scoop podcast on social productivity in the workplace (enterprise 2.0 and all that).
Stephen Collins is right on the pulse, he talks about the tribal village feel that online networks have enabled to surface in getting stuff done and learning.
Especially the horizontal value (saving time and money) we get from networking rather than replying on our vertical network to source information
- he refers to the usual use of a “back channel” in getting things done, and networks augmenting this in an online scenario
- rather than waiting on your boss, to ask their boss in another office, who has to ask someone else, you can immediately be aware and connect to this person that is usually 3 degree’s or separation apart from you.
- I’d add to this we are reducing opportunity cost by more accurately hooking up with the best available person for the job at that time.
- add we create new contacts and relationships
Another of the participants added that social productivity enhances the level of engagement, and relationship which is how the netgen work.
- but this goes across all generations, we are social creatures, the more engaged we are the more passionate we become
- ideally we spend more time at work and with colleagues than our families, so it’s about time it’s rewarding and engaging
There’s a lot of talk about creating a knowledge sharing culture…here’s my take.
I’m not sure on this, I think we have to create conditions so that the culture emerges…the knowledge workers have to create the culture.
Rather than change culture, we hope that a slowly changing culture will emerge by creating the conditions below:
- informal social tools with low barrier to entry
- email integration
- integrate social tools in already existing applications so they are just features, and seem mainstream
- senior support and role models, actually more middle management support
- champions showcasing how it’s done with pilots that create conversation (try and get a few respected people where you know others will be interested in what they have to say…a blog conversation and comments would be ideal)
- dedicated facilitators (rather than an add-on task)
- high facilitation and support (also activities like blog topic theme weeks)
- social influence
- speed of trust
- 90-9-1 participation ratio is more promising in the enterprise
Culture is not a pre-requisite:
- start off with replacing email with blogs and wikis for in the flow (more directed work)…this is stuff people are already doing in email anyway
- not everyone will blog above the flow and that’s OK
- work in progress attitude (as disposable as email), the word published sounds formal like a journal article or report, fragments immortalised is scary…it will take time for people to realise you can post fragments as they happen. Champions can demonstrate by writing blog posts that are informal and full of personality
- hoard vs guru (the more visible you are the more you are known as the goto person…power is in sharing)
- job value and description and mission (how do you measure my sourcing skills using networks…good info quick…altruistic…how do you measure me helping others)
As we facilitate this type of environment where people can connect, trust others, and have basic tools to converse, then they will begin to share, in fact this will increase when they start depending on each other…at this stage “social productivity” will become the norm.