While many companies talk about the benefits of adopting web 2.0 tools inside the organization, only a few companies are actually using them for increased business results.
In a recent article published on Harvard Business Review’s blog network, Jeanne Meister profiled the unique ways in which Unisys has been using social media tools to become more agile, to share knowledge, and to increase the speed of innovation. Below, please find an excerpt from the article,
To be really useful, social media has to improve the daily work of employees. Knowledge workers spend anywhere from 15%-35% of each day just searching for the right information, according to this IDC report.
So when Unisys launched “My Site” to allow employees to build their personal credentials and network of colleagues, they built a feature called “Ask Me About” that allows Unisys employees to locate experts across the organization by creating hashtags for their skills and key topics they want to collaborate on with other employees. So far, in the first 18 months, 15,000 Unisys employees world-wide (out of 23,000) have built profiles and created hashtags describing their expertise.
For more on how Unisys harnessed the productive power of social tools, read the whole article here. Please feel free to join in to the discussion in the comments.
Additionally, Future Workplace has created a Social Learning Infographic to help companies understand and implement Social Learning. You can view the Social Learning Infographic here.
As a preview, here are eight elements you should make sure you have in place as you roll out a social network for your company:
- Strategy: Be sure there is buy-in and engagement from senior executives who are willing to lead by example.
- Alignment: Get involvement from stakeholder groups across the company.
- Technology: Determine the right mix of tools and technologies.
- Pilot: Identify pilot groups like Unisys did with the sales team.
- Governance: Establish guidelines for governance.
- Communications: Develop a communications plan.
- Metrics: Identify hard business metrics like increasing speed to innovation or speed for winning new business.
- Implementation: Create process for enterprise wide implementation new skills needed for success like social media literacy.
For more, see the full Social Learning Infographic.
With an increasing trend towards knowledge work, utilization of social media to facilitate will become more and more important. In the finance field where I am, there is already a lot of web-enabled work we can do, and it seems we are not too far off from being able to operate the entire team remotely. This will have interesting implications all around.
While the young think that they are the totality of the workforce, there still are and will be old war-horses like myself around. I, like many of my compatriots, lack the knowledge of how social media works and can be worked. This neither means that we are disinterested in learning nor unable to master a new skill. However, opportunity to learn needs to be available …. which in general it is not – not withstanding a plethora of information on the web. Companies, perhaps even society, needs to recognize this an make access to “social media training” readily available.
Unless, I misunderstand, the power, perhaps purpose, of social media is inclusion, not exclusion.