The chances of successfully introduce new technologies and ways of working in an organization without having at least some understanding of the existing culture are very slim. Often there are also many different sub-cultures in an organization, especially when it comes to communication, which makes things even more complicated.
With a good understanding of the overall culture as well as influential sub-cultures, you can find the sweet spots where technology can make a difference and press the right buttons to make the introduction of new technology influence and change the culture. Understanding the exiting culture isn’t just limited to understanding what attitudes and behaviors people share – it also includes understanding what forces that shape and preserve the culture, such as power, status, politics, management practices, communication practices, and so fort.
If the task of introducing new and smarter ways of communicating and collaborating within organizations only was about finding out what technologies are needed, things would be so easy. But then again, if it was that easy, I probably would be doing something else, something more challenging. As things are now I can think of no bigger or more exciting challenge helping organizations work smarter by getting better at communicating and collaborating.
A couple of previous writings on this theme: