Showing posts from May, 2012

Building Your Social Intranet - Step 4 Choose your platform(s)

The last couple of weeks I've been blogging about my experiences with social intranet. I started out by defining 'social intranet', then moved on to the first three steps towards a social intranet: listen, define goal(s), and choose a roll-out strategy. It's great to see the posts are being shared and appreciated!

Step 4 is about choosing a platform for your social intranet. I'm not going to give lengthy advise about how to do this. I hope to do that in a separate post. My short advice is to choose a platform that is truly social. People and their networks should be at the core of the tool. This is more than having profile functionality. And it's also more than being able to share and publish content.
You can also choose platforms, plural. Based on my experience most organizations don't have one platform, but several platforms. And isn't this often the easiest way forward? Why try to push everything into one platform, if it just doesn't fit the too…

Building Your Social Intranet – Step 3 Top-down vs. bottom-up roll-out

OK, we defined the goal(s) of our social intranet. Now we have to get commitment from high-level management, right? It depends. I don’t think this is the only way to go, although we have learned to do it this way: write a plan, get budget by getting commitment from management, get IT on board and start rolling out. This type of planning always lead to long projects.

I think internal social media concepts and tools challenge us to think differently. Mostly the tools are really cheap and everybody can set them up and configure them. A Yammer network for instance is up and running in 30 seconds. So, why don’t you go ahead and do this? Not because setting up the tool is the only thing that much be done for a successful roll out of social tools. I’ll get back to that in a bit. But you can do this because you can. The big question is: Are you dare-devil enough to do it? Or is this impossible in your organization? In many Dutch organizations this way of working is allowed and even encourag…

Building Your Social Intranet – Step 2 Defining the Goal

How do you build your social intranet? In my previous posts I shared my slides with you and a definition of social intranet. I also wrote about why I think listening is the first step on your way to a social intranet.

My step 2 is defining the goal of your social intranet. Of course, most of you would say. It’s quite logical to have a goal before you set up an intranet. For this reason I thought I might skip this step. But I’m keeping it in the list anyway. In my experience this step is left out or it has been defined without really listening to the organisation. The goal is implicit instead of explicit. Leaving this step out results in an intranet that is completely isolated from the business (and thus most employees). Defining an intranet goal without really listening to the organization leads to an intranet with vague and broad goals. Like: Improve efficiency of employees. Or: Improve internal communications. These goals are not wrong but hardly have any relatedness to the core of…

Building Your Social Intranet - Step 1 Listen

In a previous post I shared my slides about building your social intranet. I also gave a definition of a social intranet. This post is about the first step towards a social intranet: Listening.

Most IT-projects start out with collecting functional requirements and by defining the goal and strategy of the new tool. Both are important, but I think the goal and strategy should come in second place when working towards a social intranet. And collecting functional requirements should be more implicit.
My advice is to start out with listening. Listen to 3 things:The organizational structure and -processes. With this I mean, how is the company run? How is it structured and defined? What does the hierarchy look like? Why is this important? Well, your intranet should relate directly to it to have the potential to be successful. This doesn’t imply the intranet will be highly structured. Because when you look closely at the organization you’ll see that about 20% is defined in processes, procedu…

Can asking why also be wrong?

I enjoy reading Seth Godin’s daily posts. I share them via Twitter regularly. Recently Godin posted a short one about importance of asking why. I agree, we should ask 'why' more often. It’s an essential question. Easy to ask and hard at the same time. It’s a great way to find out:what the other thinks,what their underlying convictions  are,whether someone really means what he/she is saying,etc.
However, can asking 'why' also be wrong?
I’ve been in an environment where lots of people asked 'why' all the time. But not for the better… Asking 'why' was a way to kill innovation and slow down the organization. It was used to make sure new ideas were not shared openly and conforming with the status quo was norm. 'Why' was used so that the questioner didn’t have to think about the idea he/she was confronted with before asking 'why'.
To me someone can ask me 'why' and I just know it’ll start a great conversation. And other times when so…