Thursday, September 30, 2010

Enterprise 2.0 adoption tactics



Here are a few adoption tactics which you might want to consider if your organization is planning an Enterprise 2.0 initiative, such as building and launching a social collaboration platform (or social intranet, if you like). I would appreciate your comments.

1. Make the effort to change as small as possible, but not smaller

Design and introduce your solutions and new practices in small steps, allowing people to make one small change at the time. Make the effort to change as small as possible, but not smaller - it must be a change that makes a real improvement in some area. In other words, design and implement for adoption, not a fully realized vision from the start. Beware of vendors advising you to do big bang implementations. They want to sell you their biggest most expensive product, while you want to deliver business value. Focus on getting the platform and key features in place first. Build from the ground up at the same time as you focus efforts on key use cases where small changes in existing practices can make a big difference.

2. Avoid expressing your vision as a solution design

Express and communicate a vision (with executive commitment) of what you want to achieve and why in the long term, but don't express it in terms of a solution design. Instead, describe and visualize a possible future work environment and what kind of business (and individual) results can be created by people working in such an environment. If you express your vision as a solution (UX) design, chances are people won't be able to take it in. Quite likely, such a design will likely also be something you will laugh at in just a couple of years as technologies and design preferences have evolved further.

3. Focus change efforts to typical situations where you want to change a behavior

Work with changing typical situations where unwanted behaviors occur and making the desired new behaviors visible. Point out the next practices leaders, make good examples visible to everybody, and share success stories. Also share real horror stories showing how inefficient, error-prone or simply stupid existing practices can be.

4. Recognize the people who change

Reward people who change their behaviors by making sure they are being properly recognized in the face of their peers. Make sure the platform has mechanisms which allow coworkers to see and recognize each other's contributions and behaviors. Peer perception is key. If your peers change their behaviors, chances are you will to.