Organizations are looking for the bulletproof collaboration strategy. I often hear, “How are you going to do XXXX?” I might reply that “my plan is to do YYYY, but if it doesn’t work we will try something else”. The reaction takes people off guard because they think there is a right way to do all this social stuff. It is not that I don’t know what I am doing.
It is not that I am incompetent and guessing what we should do. Rather we have to remember that Enterprise 2.0 environments are not build on software (which is possible to implement perfectly) but rather they are based on people who are fickle and not altogether stable.
Their likes and dislikes change, they are moody and they have strokes of insights that can change everything in the matter of one day. Yet too many times – especially if the Enterprise 2.0 project is headed by I.T. – they want it done right. (This leads me to my next blog post on opposites, coming soon.)
Remember this: There isn’t a perfect “right way”. And what might be right today may be wrong tomorrow. What is right for my organization may be very wrong for yours. The way to develop a collaborative strategy is tailor it to your org and run with it. But then be flexible enough to change – this is all very iterative.
Because this is about people you must be willing to change. DO NOT treat this like an IT project. Treat it like a people project. In fact, it is not a project at all. It just is. It is woven into the way we work. It is about sharing, collaboration and openness which don’t need a project to work well. This is a difficult concept to help key stakeholders understand – but help them understand we must.
Iterate. Try, fail, succeed, share.
(Crossposted on the Engaged Learning blog by Kevin D. Jones, a Collaboration / Enterprise 2.0 strategist working with NASA and other organizations to create social & cultural strategies.)
I haven’t figured out the analogy but I think with collaboration/E2.0 you have to try to light 10 matches before you get 1 spark. It’s more about baseball success rates vs basketball free throw success rates
That is great! Thanks for commenting. I love it!
Thanks…if you have any ideas on making it a crisper metaphor, I’m looking for it. But feeling I have when talked to smart people who run big consumer websites or online communities or internal communities, you have to try and test a lot of things. And honestly most things fail. But that’s fine…you got to keep testing.
It’s not a metaphor or analogy, maybe more of a Buddhist (?) concept, but I always tell people they have to proceed with “mindful flexibility.” That is, they should have a clear set of objectives in mind and have their actions be guided by their goals, but they must also be capable of adapting as they learn and circumstances change.
I also remind them that investing in social media is a marathon, not a sprint, that there are no silver bullets, and that simple doesn’t mean easy. I have a whole set of social media realities, in fact, that I need to consolidate into a blog post.
Founder, Social Media in Organizations (SMinOrgs) Community