Looks like I was prophetic when I posted What’s the difference between Intranet 2.0 and a social network with groups.
Why do I say this?
At work we have many active online Communities of Practice (CoPs), some are learning and sharing, and others are customer based information and support CoPs, or even both.
In my post Online Communities of Practice are a sweet spot! I highlighted how CoPs cut into email conversations and Intranet information.
That is, rather than using email for questions, communications, support, we use CoP tools.
Some CoPs also like the fact that the CoP can be responsive and agile compared to the Intranet. Some of our CoPs are going beyond conversations and using the CoP as a portal to profile all the information about the group and services the group offers, as you would do on an Intranet.
What they like about the CoP is that you can update it yourself daily, and you can get feedback and questions from internal customers, as well as communicate to them.
What happened the other day is a CoP facilitator mentioned that the CoP was quickly replacing their need for an Intranet page. They said soon, they wish to not host information on the Intranet, but instead just have a hyperlink for their practice that launches to the CoP.
Whoa…CoPs are cutting into the Intranet…it’s not gonna be pretty if people start ditching the Intranet.
See what’s happening, social tools are becoming a catalyst for change, but it’s not explicit, it’s just a by-product…you are not having a revolution, it’s just you start using the new thing, and the old thing becomes ignored.
What will happen if the Intranet loses control to CoPs…their worst case scenario to authoritativeness and all things official and vetted.
As global CoP facilitator I’m not being a traffic stealer, rather a few of my customers are choosing to do this themselves, and when they ditch the Intranet, people interested in their information will also be visiting the CoP, not the Intranet.
So not only are CoPs enablers for emerging groups that are not official or even mature enough to be on the Intranet, but they are starting to attract existing groups that live on the Intranet as perhaps a new place of residence.
What does this tell us? People want to be agile, they want to be more transparent and connect, they want to be close to real-time, they want to be empowered to sense-make and do it themselves…a distributed organisation…worker engagement.
The Intranet better notice this and do something about it?
If they do, where does that leave CoPs?
If the Intranet becomes a social network with group pages, will our CoPs then be absorbed into the Intranet?
This was my whole point of my past post.
You can have a “social network with groups” standalone internal website (which is promoted on the Intranet), or you can have the same thing designed as the Intranet itself.