Note: Mark Oehlert is hosting an Enterprise Social Summit Lunch in Sydney Australia on October 24th. Join us down-under and read on to learn why attending may give you that philosophical advantage in your workplace. Click here for more Summit info.
One of the greatest things about the advent of Web 2.0, social media, Enterprise 2.0, or Social HCM is that it brings to light one common thread – people. Ten plus years ago when e-learning burst onto the scene, it was decidedly not about people, but rather technical specifications, authoring tools and saving money on travel budgets amongst other things. This focus was not truly about helping employees learn and perform in a better way, with more ease and efficiency. As it stands, the way businesses use social has not caught up with what today’s social technologies have to offer .
In this sometimes overwhelming world of social, bringing these collaborative technologies into the workplace has never been easier. New coding environments, the capability to run almost everything within a browser and the advent of backend resources like Amazon, combine to make the threshold of market entry extremely low. What then will be the Darwinian imperative that clears out this Cambrian explosion of social software for the enterprise? Simply put, the ones that will survive and prosper will be the ones who understand that at base, what these new technologies offer are ways for people to work together with less friction; to discover previously untapped enterprise resources hidden in invisible networks; and to offer a place for colleagues from across the enterprise to come together and move more rapidly and effectively to accomplish organizational goals. In other words, let’s help people do their jobs better.
People are the unmistakable core of the social explosion. For organizations to succeed in deploying social solutions inside the enterprise, the issues have to be understood from a people-centric point of view; Not from an IT dominated view or any view that puts technology ahead of understanding dynamics. For instance, if you deploy a system that is unmatched in terms of capabilities but fail to sufficiently train and empower or “permission” your employees to contribute to and participate in such a system, then it will never realize its full ROI. It’s about people. It’s about confronting issues at an organizational level like “trust,” “fear” and “control.” The technology is awesome. The potential is dizzying. The core to a winning, enterprise-wide social strategy is understanding people, their workflow, their networks and turning them loose with tools that can transform their organization.