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We're trying to introduce social software applications into our organisation but attempts thus far are meeting resistance because:

  • we're a large, conservative organisation that will always be a late adopter
  • business decision makers think that it's 'just the IT boys and their toys'
  • say 'social web apps' and people think 'facebook' and assume that there's no benefit
  • etc

What arguments have you used to convince senior management that internal online communities, knowledge sharing tools (like UXExchange) and other enterprise 2.0 applications are good for business? What strategies have you used for launching the new tools on an unsuspecting audience?

Cheers
R

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closed as off topic by ChrisF, dnbrv, Ben Brocka, JonW Aug 16 '12 at 7:50

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6 Answers

You may want to look at Nielsen intranet reports:

http://www.nngroup.com/reports/intranet/

Altough they are kind of expensive, there are lots of good ideas. Some managers are more easily convinced, if you show them, that "Acme Co." does the same.

Also if your organization is spread geographicaly, an other factor is the the less travel cost (because of on-line collaboration).

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The absolute best way that I've found to convince folk is to just go and do it for a bit - and report on the results.

Find a team in your organisation and just try it. If you can't find a team find a couple of interested co-workers and just try it. Track what works and what doesn't. Figure out where it's saving you time and the organisation money.

After you've got that it's a much, much easier pitch.

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I agree with this. The problem with Management not wanting to follow social media trends is because of misconceptions that are not easily converted. I would just create a case study and then report on the benefits. –  jffgrdnr Jan 15 '10 at 16:20
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Perhaps they need to be reminded that it is far better to present employees with the option to contribute to an internal knowledgebase over updating Facebook statuses when they should be working...

Identify pain points (failed interdepartmental initiatives, office supply consumption for internal reports, lack of central repository for meeting notes) and sell them on a wiki as a first step - it would be hard to find a large organization which could not benefit from a 24/7 information store at every level of management and wiki's present far less potential for "abuse" than social networking sites.

The information which guides a business's processes is its genetic code - a business which does not facilitate rapid deployment and iterative improvement of its processes will not evolve.

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Perhaps you could sell in the idea of efficiency.

Example: You can use twitter like status report for project teams and business groups as a way of:

  • checking availability for impromptu meetings, i.e. what's jill up to. is she free now.
  • checking where people are in case you have a questions about a project i.e. Bill is in a meeting, what's jack up to i can ask him about the project.

All from the comfort of you desk - with a single view.

Matt

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Framing is key. If you say, Social Yadda Yadda. They will equate it with non-business. if you equate it with Knowledge Management, then they will equate it with business. You want the latter.

Specifically, if you say, "We are spending enormous time getting new people up to speed. If we had a decent knowledge management system, we (all of us) would be alot more productive."

Find out what their "values" are. Frame the issue in that way. Ask them, "What are the most important things to us as a company?"

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Convince them with numbers and statistics! The members of the management usually focus on figures, percentage, improvement and so! By showing the positive effects of it, you may be able to convince them!

Try presenting Intranet studies available online, which show that how Social Softwares improve worker efficiency and profitability of the company.

IMB Intranet figures from 2005 - by showing them old numbers you can present that this is not a new thing, and is not for only young people! one more IBM link and here's one more

And on Prescient Digital you can find more articles on this topic.

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