Ben McCallum's Blog

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Grassroot Enterprise 2.0 projects lead to success

I’ve previously written about adoption of Wikis in company intranets. What I found quite interesting was that Disney’s wiki started as an unsanctioned effort at speeding up and increasing the productivity of their internal faction. It was later recognised as a valuable tool by the higher ranks and upgraded to fully accommodate for their needs. This kind of Enterprise 2.0 stories are often called grassroots stories. This means that the employers have addressed their needs and then the project has risen up through the ranks and recognised by those in authoritative positions. A recent article in the Social Computing Journal found that:

  1. Underground efforts yield big results – Companies are turning a blind eye to underground social software efforts until they prove their worth, after which they integrate them more thoroughly.
  2. Front line workers are driving the vision – Many senior managers still consider social tools something their teenagers use. Young workers, who do not need to be taught or convinced to use these tools, expect them in the workplace.
  3. The business need is the big driver – Social software is not about the tools, it is about what the tools enable the users to do and about the business problems the tools address.
  4. Communities are self-policing – When left to their own devices, communities within enterprise intranets police themselves. Workers tend to retain their professional identities, leaving little need for the organization to institute controls.
  5. Organizations must cede power – As companies have been learning from using Web 2.0 technologies to communicate with their customers, they can no longer fully control their message. This is true, too, when Web 2.0 tools are used in internal communications.

What many people would consider a rare occurrence is now being realized as commonplace. Employees are demanding social media enters their working lives and are even taking their own steps to ensure it is incorporated into their work. It’s an interesting find and I look forward to sharing any other news on the topic that I find.

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