Monday, June 16, 2008
More Untold perspectives on social networking within large enterprises
Continuing the previous discussion on social networking within large enterprises. Have you heard of service-oriented architectures (SOA)? One of the major value propositions behind is to decouple the producer from the consumer in order to enable scale. This principle holds true in terms of scaling social networking within large enterprises as well.
Within your enterprise, are you forced to standardize templates such that if you do a Powerpoint presentation not using the kid-tested, mother approved template, you will get yelled at? Think for a moment about this way of thinking and how it may need to change to make social networking scale. For those reading my blog, do you think I will change the look and feel of it, because a particular individual wanted to see it a certain way? Even if I were braindead enough to spend more than one second thinking about it, I couldn't simply keep up with the need for multiple versions that I would need to maintain in order to handle all those consumers.
My blog scales because I am loosely-coupled between producer (me) and consumers (those who read my blog). The analogy says that social networking within large enterprises would work much better if my boss didn't move the consumption problem back to the producer. What if he figured out that if he wanted to see things in a certain way, he could simply transform it using whatever technologies he chose and more importantly, he could allow me to become more productive in publishing content in the way that best works for me?
- NOTE: For those boneheads who will get it twisted, my boss is one of the coolest folks on the planet and doesn't suffer from problems outlined above
Have you noticed that many consulting firms such as Accenture, Bearingpoint and even McKinsey will talk about the importance of social networking. Do you think that they have the liberty to publish and present information without leveraging their fine PowerPoint templates? Could a consultant from one of these firms maintain the goals of perception management while ignoring worst practices such as using PowerPoint bullets? Could they do a 2.0 style PowerPoint communication with strictly images (and no bullets) with little internal churn in doing so?
I guess my point is that social networking isn't about tools or even the process around tools, but more about removing the impediments for capturing knowledge, providing insight and enabling conversations that lead to implementing the strategic intent of the business in an agile way.
Too much of the conversation around social networking within large enterprises to date has been about tools (e.g. wikis, blogs, instant messaging, etc) and we have let the process weenies once again allow something that could be really game changing to be reduced down to mediocrity...
Links to this post: