Last week I had the pleasure of attending The Art of Leadership conference in Vancouver, BC. With well over 1,000 professionals in attendance, I knew that this conference would be special, and it was. Sitting in the jam-packed crowd I could sense the excitement in the air for the event to begin. The bios of the six speakers were very enticing and the host, Ron Tite, did a fantastic job keeping us entertained during the short breaks between presentations. After each enthusiastic presentation the crowd grew keener to hear the next, and so was I.
Jeanne Meister’s presentation really stood out to me because she recognizes that businesses are finding ways to make information gathering faster for employees. Jeanne says that we can increase the speed of workplace innovation by changing the way employees work with each other. Providing social technology in the workplace will increase productivity and engagement which helps employees work faster and smarter.
If you are considering the addition of social technology in your organization, here are Jeanne’s 10 guidelines to consider in creating, organizing and planning the roll out of an enterprise 2.0 initiative.
Launching Enterprise 2.0
1. Get senior executives to lead by example. Create opportunities for your leaders to share their knowledge. Blogs are an excellent way to have senior executives lead by example.
2. Build enterprise 2.0 into the work ﬂow. Rather than building a community supported by a social platform around extracurricular interests, ensure that the way people get work done relies on going to the platform. If the call center has a knowledge center, the social community and the knowledge center need to be combined. People need fewer places to go, not more.
3. Develop and seed new communities with content through community managers. Social learning communities are not a case of “if we build it, they will come.” Communities need to be kick started by recruiting members, seeding the community with content, building performance incentives to contribute and introducing thought-provoking conversation starters.
4. Consider creating communities as follow-on to formal training. Wherever there are cohorts, the ability to connect and support can be enabled by social learning platforms. There are many things to learn when starting with a new company or after promotion to a new management role. The ability to connect with others on the path to competence can accelerate performance while providing emotional support.
5. Err on the side of creating an open culture. Allow as much learner access to communities as possible so that knowledge can pass virally across the organization.
6. Create ambassadors to be evangelists. Online communities will not develop spontaneously. Implementing social learning requires change management just like any other new initiative. Ambassadors can lead the change and advocate for implementation.
7. Trust employees to self-monitor. With internal corporate social learning platforms, users authenticate and gain access by using their real names. This is not the world of anonymous contribution like the wild, wild Web. The reputation capital of the employee is at stake, and nearly all employees will recognize that and act professionally. Those who don’t will be ousted by others in the community.
8. Train employees on how to use social media responsibly and actively contribute. Intel has a complete curriculum on how to best represent the company via social media. In addition, knowing how to author engaging content, build viral videos and create a blog or Twitter following can help employees act as ambassadors for their company, their function or their community of practice.
9. Link participation in enterprise 2.0 to performance management. Employees will one day be evaluated to some degree on their reputation capital. Encouraging people to add to the body of knowledge ensures that key information or knowledge is not lost as turnover occurs. Starting with a goal to contribute to a community is one easy way to integrate performance management with social learning.
10. Focus on incentives that link to increases in employee performance. While prizes and contests may be fun for the launch, employees must see value in improving their performance and productivity in order to sustain usage of a social collaboration site.
What do you think of Jeanne’s 10 Guidelines for a successful enterprise 2.0 launch?