Social media in the enterprise – best practice #3

Posted: September 11th, 2007 | Author: | Filed under: Archive, Business, Social Media, Systematic Viewpoints | View Comments

Yesterday I was speaking with a client about collaboration opportunities for a certain community. They described a common scenario – employees had been given broad access to Sharepoint. Folks rushed out and set up their own spaces, and now nobody collaborates across them. As a result information and knowledge is more hidden than it was before ‘collaboration’ became broadly available.

As true with collaboration than many other areas, lack of governance is a sure way to failure.  There’s a common perception in the general public that a site like Wikipedia is a wild west, with anyone and everyone invited to say whatever the heck they want about anything under the sun. While a bit of that may be so, there is in fact a shadow army working within a rules set that generally rights egregious wrongs, often in near real time. Rules are indeed in place and they’re both explicit and tacit.

A rules set, structure and governance is necessary to ensure the context and health of  of a collaboration platform. Volumes have been written about supporting a community, and the subject can run quite deep.  For a pragmatic approach to the common problem described above I recommend reading what James Robertson of Step Two Designs posted today,  a tidy summary of four stages that move the adoption of collaborative tools from fragmentation to coherence.

Best practice #3: Collaboration requires a balance of freedom and governance to thrive.

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