A question that companies often face today is not: What is social collaboration? But rather: Where do we stand on this issue? Experience has shown that most companies know perfectly well what modern collaboration is. They are no longer asking: What is Web 2.0? What is a blog? What is social business all about? Instead, they are interested in the maturity level of their own collaboration initiatives. This concern is usually accompanied by questions such as:
Companies without a clear vision of what they are trying to accomplish with their own collaboration and social business initiatives and without a well-defined process framework will be unable to answer these questions in a way that furthers their aims. Thus they should first be well aware of where they stand on the issue and know exactly where they want to go.
Many clients, however, fail to ask these questions, which can stem from a wide variety of reasons:
- Starting point: “Modern collaboration in the field of social business is not present in my company, so I’m starting from scratch”: Is this really the case? Informal systems of collaborations have developed in most companies over time as more and more millennial employees have joined the workforce – whether it’s WhatsApp or a Facebook group for an after-work beer or the usage of an external chat client such as Skype for quick communication while working. Modern collaboration exists in many different forms.
- Goal definition: “We know exactly where we want to go with our collaboration initiative”: Are you really well aware of everything that such an initiative entails? Have you examined questions such as: How do my employees communicate? Who are the stakeholders? Which IT systems do I use? It is important that you have sufficiently analyzed all aspects before taking further steps to implement a social business platform.
- Employee collaboration: “We know exactly how our employees collaborate”: Do you really know this or do you just think you do? Employees often find ways to communicate that circumvent corporate guidelines. Engage in dialogue with rank-and-file employees in order to get to the bottom of such questions as: Why do they bypass the rules? Why are other forms of communication better for them?
- Technology: “We have already decided to use a particular solution, so we don’t need to conduct a pre-implementation review”: Be sure to remember that “a fool with a tool is still a fool.” The right technology is a crucial factor in determining how frequently modern collaboration and social business tools are used. Here usability and simplicity are key factors. But how can you be certain that this solution of the all the tools available is the right one for your employees if you have neither involved them in the decision-making process nor have familiarized yourself with how they currently collaborate.
You should find answers to these key questions before rolling out a modern collaboration and social business platform in your company. Through a so-called “collaboration review,” Pokeshot///SMZ works closely with its clients to do just that: We ask you the right questions, identify gaps in your strategy and provide you with a road map that allows you to successfully realize your modern collaboration initiative. Get in touch with us!
About the author:
Sandra Brückner, who studied business informatics at the Technical University of Dresden, has worked as social business consultant since 2012. She recently joined the Berlin-based social business consultancy and technology provider Pokeshot///SMZ, where she leverages her extensive intranet and community expertise to consult organizations on how to optimize their change management and community management processes.