Making Web 2.0 Work in Large Enterprises
“Six ways to make Web 2.0 work” in the McKinsey Quarterly claims that Web 2.0 efforts within enterprises (blogs, wikis, podcasts, information tagging, prediction markets, and social networks) are likely to fail unless–
1) Senior executives become role models and lead through informal channels, for example the CEO starting a blog
This only works if there exist senior leaders who get it and can make a contribution through Web 2.0 channels that employees recognize as genuine and distinct from existing channels of communication. It comes down to the issue of Web 2.0 tools flattening the hierarchy and unless you have a leader who is comfortable with that prospect, e.g., responding to questions from junior employees on a blog, then it is probably better not to put him front and center.
2) Companies follow an adoption process of observing what works and then scaling it up
The wider the range of employees with access and the wider the range of tools they have access to, the greater chance there is of the experimentation resulting in something working.
3) The tools are incorporated into a user’s daily workflow
I think this depends on the perceived value of the tool. Consider how many people have altered their “daily workflow” to incorporate significant time for Facebook. If the tool doesn’t appear to provide more value than the user is already getting from however he chooses to communicate then it won’t be adopted. This value might be fun or immediate convenience but if it’s the promise of convenience in the future, e.g., “if you tag your documents now you and others will be able to find them easier later,” then that’s a much tougher sell.
4) Metrics are tied to the quality rather than the quantity of participation and incentives are aligned with contributors’ desire for recognition and reputation building rather than direct financial reward
I agree with this completely.
5) A wide net is cast for lead users who are selected and encouraged based on their networks and ability to influence rather than their place in the hierarchy and tools like information markets that depend on a diversity of viewpoints are actually allowed to operate that way
In large organizations it is usually IT groups who are the early adopters and who serve as the test groups for new Web 2.0 tools. This makes sense for objectives of working out bugs but I think it makes less sense in terms of learning about enterprise-wide adoption. I am skeptical of IT people providing representative learning about what works.
6) Legal, HR and IT security policies are not overly restrictive and people are trusted more to police themselves
Simply clarifying policies can go a long way. And here’s a novel idea: Have the explanation of the policies, e.g., the boilerplate language that pops up on the site every time you log in, include language about what you CAN do instead of only what you can’t.