In the last two companies I’ve worked for (including present day), I initiated something called the Social Learning Network or SLN for short. This was a group of individuals, united across the business, formed to help push the proverbial sticks forward as it relates to the shift from an all formal model of learning, to one that incorporates formal, informal and social learning.
In hindsight, the name was right for the moment, but wrong for today and the future.
The intention of the group though remains the same, although I would argue slightly augmented due to the meteoric rise of Enterprise 2.0 concepts, cultures and applications.
We are trying to augment the current business climate to one that is less ‘command and control’ to one that is more ‘cultivate and coordinate’; one that endorses situational hierarchy amongst heterarchy. I tend to agree with Nenshad Bardoliwalla and a recent blog post entitled “Is Enterprise 2.0 a Savior or a Charlatan? How Strategy-Driven Execution can pave the path to proving legitimate business value“. (thanks Jon Husband for the link)
It is not that Enterprise 2.0 is the saviour, nor should it be separated as completely different from so-called Enterprise 1.0 — it is an evolution, and with recent social media, social networking, and social learning concepts and tools, we are bridging the gap from an all “top down” or “white ivory tower” organizational alignment model to one that encompasses flat-based communities of practice along with situational hierarchy. (see Cisco’s Chambers for a real-world example)
The 2.0 train has left the station.
That 2.0 train is culturally, technologically and organizationally superior than yesterday’s industrial model. Those on the prophetic side of the fence know intrinsically (like Chambers) that the organizational model of yesterday is currently undergoing metamorphosis, like it or not. Sure, there are issues about ROI and benefit (see Sameer Patel and Why Process Barfs on Social) but inside an organization, we all need to not only justify its rampant osmosis, we need to embrace, endorse and take action.
Hence, why I think every organization requires a cross-functional 2.0 Adoption Council.
The group needs to represent all corners of the business, all levels of the business, and all geographies of the business. The intention is to ensure the culture, systems and structure changes that are happening or about to happen in the future (see previous blog post here) are all equally being addressed at the organizational, business unit, team and individual levels of the company.
The 2.0 Adoption Council is a way for you to reach out to the organization and do it in a flat, cohesive, collaborative and (incidentally) 2.0 way.
Sure, someday there may be the need for a separate social media, social enterprise, social whatever business unit in a company as Shel Israel points out in “Time to draw a Social Media box into the org chart” but for now, I’d recommend launching a 2.0 Adoption Council within your own org.
That’s step one.