7 Habits of a Socially Collaborative Business

This panel discussion took place at the #SWCONF 2012 with the following participants:

Justin Hunt, Founder, itsopen.co.uk and Social Media Leadership Forum (Panel Chair)

Leon Benjamin, Internal Collaboration Manager, Virgin Media

Del Green, Group Internal Communications Manager, Bupa

The Seven Habits of an Open and Socially Collaborative were identified as:

  1. Sharing
  2. Sense of purpose
  3. Openness
  4. Training
  5. Continuous learning
  6. Support from senior executives
  7. Not adding more tools before taking another one away

The panel members also noted some key elements they believe are vital in the process of getting an organisation to the stage that it becomes open and socially collaborative:

Del, Bupa

  1. Take a risk otherwise nothing will happen.
  2. Be prepared to fail and learn.
  3. Education is key – don’t expect people to just pick up the tools themselves.
  4. Let things go a little bit – don’t be too controlling and be prepared to give people a voice.
  5. Supporting users and provide timely help with their questions.
  6. Address users who have objections to the system – sometimes they are just siloed and need a voice.
  7. Be able to show in numbers how employees are interacting with the platform in order to get the buy-in from executives.

Bupa started on the journey to becoming a socially collaborative business by integrating the Kive software “out of the box” and treating it as the “people’s tool” watching and learning what happened post-launch.

Leon, Vigin Media

  1. Don’t add unless you subtract. Too many applications will alienate people.
  2. Culture does matter – you need to account for it in all your decisions.
  3. Zigzagging. Do the sums and get to the answer but be realistic there will be a lot of trial, error and tire kicking.
  4. Give people permission across as many level of the organisation as possible.
  5. Always agree a purpose for your communities.
  6. You know you’ve been successful when you change a practice.
  7. Most of all, find your connectors: often they are not where you think they are.

Virgin Media use Cisco Quad across the organisation, selecting this due to the high number of physical locations across the country and the benefits of video as a connecting medium of communication.