March 25, 2010

What’s Needed First? Culture Change or Enterprise 2.0 Adoption

There is a dilemma that exists in the 90-9-1 phenomenon. Do we first require an organizational culture adaptation prior to any meaningful Enterprise 2.0 adoption? Thus, helping us reverse the order where, now, 90% of the population are active creators versus 1%?

Or, do Enterprise 2.0 tools need to become so simplistic, easy to use and of course generally available to an organization before a culture can be considered connected, flat and more collaborative?

It feels like a causality dilemma worth exploring.

Peter Bregman states that an easy way in which to begin changing an organization’s culture is by telling stories. That got me thinking. Perhaps, if we truly want to flip the 90-9-1 phenomenon to improve employee engagement, company productivity, future innovation, etc. we should get fabulous stories circulating into the conversation ecosystem. That should change the culture, right?

Well, how do you do that?

  • Email – employees press delete in their inbox more often than their heart beats
  • Newsletters – are they even read or made anymore?
  • Intranet – possibly
  • Water-cooler – possibly

Obviously the aforementioned possibilities are not exactly Enterprise 2.0 party crashers.

Steve Dale also wrote that storytelling is invaluable when it comes to knowledge sharing. To me, knowledge sharing is as “Enterprise 2.0” as it gets these days, so maybe there is a correlation here.

Maybe we need to publicly state that, for once and for all, knowledge is going to be shared across the organization. Knowledge sharing becomes the new ‘company culture’. Silos are to be broken, the training department dismantled, fiefdoms burned to the ground and then let the sharing begin.

Ok, now what?

If, philosophically at least, knowledge is being shared (be it content, documents, videos, learning, skills, expertise, whatever), and storytelling becomes part of the equation to help drive a culture change, an Enterprise 2.0 platform and tool-set have to be made available … at the same time … to achieve the equally stated mission of a culture change.

Maybe, in the year 2010, to get to a connected, collaborative and communicative culture that is rife with sharing as an invaluable operating principle to the success of an organization, we need to introduce both a culture change and Enterprise 2.0 to the masses.

  • Storytelling = Knowledge Sharing = Enterprise 2.0 = Culture Change

Having thought about this for several months now, I believe Enterprise 2.0 and Culture Adaptation must go hand in hand down the organizational change alter. It’s the right thing to do in today’s society.

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