Dion Hinchcliffe's 12 Rules for Getting Value from Making Your Business Social
When Dion Hinchcliffe talks about enterprise 2.0 adoption I listen (e.g. Dion Hinchcliffe Enterprise 2.0 Conference Workshop). Here is another recent classic, 12 Rules For Bringing 'Social' To Your Business, that I want to share with you. It applies to enterprise 2.0 as much as Web 2.0. He set the stages for his twelve points by defining what this transition to social business is about, "It's how those companies are going to make the transition from traditional 1-to-1 relationships with their partners and customers to a one-to-many community relationship where the company is only another member of an endless ongoing conversation. This conversation will be the very lifeblood of companies in the future and consist of all the ideas, concerns, solutions, news, learning, product development, sales, marketing, customer service (i.e. the fundamental fabric of the organization) taking place between anyone, anywhere who feels they have a stake. He adds that we have a long way to go to get there but there have been some starts.
I am not going to repeat all twelve points here as you should read Dion's original work. I will just cherry pick a few for additional comments. He states that while he does like to talk about technology too early, the new technologies have been helped enable this transformation. I agree on both points. Many of the ideas of enterprise 2.0 were around in the early days of knowledge management but the right tools were not there to enable the full vision. To compound this the some of the software vendors high jacked the movement and led it astray.
We need to avoid the same things happening with enterprise 2.0. This should not be a vendor led movement. A panel member at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference Session on Does Social Media in Matter in Marketing advised us to not focus on one tool as another will come along and replace it or go in a new direction. Used to be how to use technology. Now you can build your own technology. The greatest technology does not seem like technology. A good example is the iPhone.
I would add that Twitter is another but I think within the enterprise it works best as feature in suite rather than as a standalone tool. In the same vein, some of the best features of enterprise 2.0 tools is their behind the scenes activity to create a searchable archive of social interactions as a byproduct of their use. We need to keep this simplicity in the tools. Many enterprise 2.0 tools allow you to fit them around the work process rather than the reverse, another way the technology is less oppressive as in the past. So take advantage of this and pick the business process then choose what tool to wrap around it. If the tool does not fit, change the tool and not the process.
In another step, Dion writes that Censorship kills participation. This is actually why you need guidelines to make the rules explicit (see recent post on Social Media Policy Guidelines Can Encourage Use Outside Enterprise and Adoption Within). The rules need to be open ended and enable and encourage people to participate. Without clear policy people may be reluctant and think that the old ways on top down enforcement still apply. However, if your rules enforce the old ways, do not bother with social media tools. It is a waste of time.
I will pick one more. Dion writes that you should add a social dimension to your business processes. Enterprise 2.0 increasing productivity by increasing accountability. This was one of the concepts that first got me excited about it (long with the creation of searchable knowledge as part of using the tools I mentioned earlier). I have seen many examples of this such as Al; Essa 2004 work at MIT (An Enterprise 2.0 Poster Child in the IT Department) where Al, the CIO, got 60% of his day back by having all project use a blog dashboard for transparency. Another is Changing Organization Behavior at XM Radio through Enterprise 2.0 and QuickBase where XM Radio had its first profitable project because of the new transparency of the work processes.
This is enough for now. Go read the rest of what Dion wrote.
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