Sep 6, 2012

How Organizational Culture is the key to social business success #socbiz



English: Diagram of Schein's Organizational Be...
English: Diagram of Schein's Organizational Behavior Model (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Often you'll hear Social Business (or Enterprise 2.0) enthusiasts say - like we said in the days of KM - "The key to success is people, process and technology"

And then followed by the statement - "Success is dependent 80/90 percent on people"

And yet Wall Street and industry analysts cheer the technology mergers and acquisitions. (see a list Alan maintains)

I believe that "people" issues have a whole lot of other issues that get hidden behind that word that companies might miss. I have mentioned "culture" in the title of the post which is itself like "people" a composite of many other things.

Here are some:

  1. Vision : Leaders and employees need to know why social technologies are being deployed and how do they link to the existing vision of the company. 
  2. Role Modeling: Leaders need to exemplify the sharing and collaboration behavior on social tools that they expect employees to display.
  3. Rewards and Recognition: Social tools have to be in the "flow of work" - but traditional reward systems that do not recognize and reward new behaviors would be a hindrance to widespread adoption.
  4. Linkage with goals: The team focusing on implementation needs to learn with each and every group in the organization to map how social technologies can help them achieve their goals - in a faster and better way. Without articulating that, the support of crucial group leaders and middle managers would be a pipedream.
  5. Finding and empowering employee advocates: Let's admit it. In most large workplaces the majority of the employees are disengaged. Expecting them to adopt new tools without being clear of future value is going to be difficult at best. Organizations must map the actively engaged employees who are active creators and sharers of content and showcase how the platforms have helped them achieve their goals.
  6. Organizational values: These are the big ways in which shape the behavior of employees. Is dissent encouraged? What happens when people make mistakes? Can leaders be questioned and criticised openly? How do they respond to such questions? These are the "norms of behavior" which operate on the ground. Answers to such questions determine whether social, openness and transparency would thrive in the organization.
  7. Education and Training: I won't say much about it but to share Charlene Li's excellent presentation on the topic:
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