Building a Social, Collaborative culture (#SWCONF)

The opening presentation by Angela Ashenden, Principal Analyst, MWD Advisors at Social Workplace Conference 2012

Angela guides us through the reasons building a connected culture makes for a better business.

Key takeaways

  1. Collaboration can be described as the act of people working towards a common goal where everyone benefits.
  2. A networked organisation is more likely to bring a more open, trusting and engaged workforce than a hierarchical organisation.
  3. All organisations will encounter blockers to creating a collaborative culture:
    – Old habits are often tough to break, and become tougher to break if top-level management do not show support and engagement with new practices.
    – Employees may not always understand what’s in it for them and become tired of the “shiny new collaboration tools” which senior management decides upon.  This can be especially problematic if the middle management layer blocks adoption of new practices – they are the ones who drive activities on a day-to-day basis.
    – Expectations may not be met or left unmanaged if inadequate support and education is not provided to employees.
  4. Remember that technology is the vehicle for making collaboration happen.  It should be easy and transparent for employees to use new tools in their day-to-day activities.
  5. Remember to observe the six common technology pitfalls.
    – a key point on budgeting: remember the cost of the business change problem is what should be calculated, remember what’s cheap as a tool on face value, is not necessarily the cheapest option in making the change happen.
A plan of action to consider
  1. Plan out your budget, ownership and education over the long term
  2.  Lead by example and consider how you’ll incentivise employees to become more collaborative
  3. Focus on the human aspects and not just technology – endure you have a strategy for adoption at every level of the organisation
  4. Understand resistance and use it as a help, not hindrance to achieving success