It dawns on me

I have been dealing more and more with social media for about 2 years. Back then you could read everywhere that the working environment and collaboration will be revolutionised. You could read also everywhere that „Digital Natives“ stream into companies and will change everything.

I was missing the answer of the questions „How will it be happen?“ and „What does it mean?“.

The answer has been a problem for me, and the answers I have found left just a vague feeling. I thought because I got in a little later the answers, the instructions were already present for me. However, it was just a lean yield. There are tools to improve collaboration, but how they do I could not read. Everyone gets engaged, at what and how I also could not read. Everything will get different, faster, boost knowledge, but how to do I could not read. In other words, I simply did not understand what „social“ means. Perhaps it is a gradual process, and you simply just do not recognize that you have been working more productively already, you have been working „social“ already.

Over the last weeks I found 2 really good articles about how to use social media to accomplish the change in collaboration.

There is an article at first about „How distance impacts employee communication and collaboration„. It is written by Jacob Morgan in his blog „Social Business Advisor„. Most impressive for me was that when the distance to your colleagues cross about 160 feet (about 50 m) almost the whole communication and collaboration does not exist anymore. That was the point I recognized the enormous potential of social media tools.

And thanks to Stefan Pfeiffer who showed me the way to the „Harvard Business Review“ blog and the article about „Social Media’s Productivity Payoff„. That article is based on a McKinsey-study that currently circulate within the internet. Herein you can read about the expected immense potential of the correct use of social media. The expected productivity improvement is twice as big than the value created in other value chains.

With a correct usage there can be a vast knowledge pool built, public and documented, in addition fully searchable. Everybody can use it, everybody participate from the knowledge of other people. The knowledge is digged out of the brains, of email boxes and other repositories into public. That is the first time after uncountable trials in knowledge management.

Furthermore, the article describes which prerequisites are necessary to achieve this. Now the story begins and getting very interesting. At first you need a high number of participants that use social media tools (crowd intelligence). Social media tools should also be part of the daily workflow, and should not considered as an extra item to work through. That means that social media tools have to be adopted to current processes, however, current processes have to be adopted to social media tools and in many cases both have to be adopted to work with each other high efficiently.

Next, in most cases is to form a new corporate culture.  That culture bases on:

  • openness
  • information sharing and
  • trust

Leaders are requested to fill out this new culture, but also show their employees how to use Social Media tools correctly. In my opinion is the last topic a bit too one-sided. Eventually leaders have the same retensions, fears and uncertainties using Social Media tools as their staff members. In the end collaboration effects all people within a company.

A drop of bitterness at the end, that change process can last for years. However, with that brilliant perspective it is worth to go.


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