I’ve just flipped through my starred RSS feeds and one said: How to
sell enterprise 2.0 to executives (see: Intranet Blog,
http://bit.ly/iRlhb7). Since I’ve spend almost two years discussion
enterprise 2.0/social business on executive and operations level I
realized: there’s actually no ‘selling’ necessary. In particular on
executive level.

That existing communication and collaboration methods aren’t helping
to unleash the corporate productivity and innovation power is crystal
clear to them. That the e-mail avalanche and endless meeting days
cause a lot pressure and frustration amongst their most valuable
employees and managers is obvious.

What all executives and operations managers are looking for is an
answer to the question: how shall we fix this. What they don’t want is
experiments. Adding even more stress to the already demeaning life by
more and more IT platforms has proven to be the wrong way.
Nevertheless, a lot of companies start introducing social business
platforms as potential solutions to their challenges – mostly driven
from within and hardly being a synched initiative across the entire
organization. What you get in addition to the operational challenges
is a scattered IT infrastructure and disconnected groups that run
their own solution program and way of working.

Back to the point of selling enterprise 2.0…

From my perspective the magic in becoming an enterprise 2.0 doesn’t
lie within the IT. It won’t come as part of software boxes or
consulting packages – not even from change management by the text
book.

Firstly there’s an important element in social media and social
business: it is SOCIAL. It’s driven by the protagonists and
participants. By people. Humans. Therefore the first step to being
more 2.0ish is openess to social behavior and the will to motivate
employees to act socially at the work place:
– share, contribute, participate
– interact beyond borders (functionally/geographically)
– inspire and be inspired
– connect, related and maybe even befriend

That requires a cultural and work cultural foundation – the honest
intention to overcome purely hierarchical thinking and fully
pre-defined operations models. Of course it requires a platform (yes,
an IT solution) as well, which encourages and enables employees to
apply social behavior at the work place (see DesireIT whitepaper
http://db.tt/tsU6z18)

That brings me to my second point. The point that that I’ve blogged
about some time ago: making the new socially inspired efforts not the
next bottleneck in business operations. Social business can create the
connections between successful and efficient operations, effective
building and using the corporate DNA and the people that are willing
to help or can be the source of essential expertise and experience
(see Desire-it.de, http://goo.gl/Ue41h). If the new IT services become
and additional burden to everyday life because all you now do is tag,
share, like or follow the downfall won’t be unfocused employees. It
will be that employees will not adapt the new ways of working. They
will simply find a way around it and THAT will cause even more
friction than writing a blog or two once in a while… The new
services have to blend in with the work that has to be done anyway.
Solution knowledge may come as a side product, connecting the right
talent to a challenge happens pro-actively. They have to be seen as a
real service offering and work relief for employees. Not as Facebook
for business…

Making executives understand that it’s about motivating people and
about finding the right way to link the individual business operations
to effectiveness and the power of the crowd doesn’t sell anything. It
however, is the best recommendation and guidance that I can give.

Maybe that’s far more worth than any net sale or total contract value
because it’s actually intended to provide relief for the execs AND the
employees.

— via iPad

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