Social Networking Goes Corporate

7 thoughts on “Social Networking Goes Corporate”

  1. Luis – regarding “baby boomers” – one of the things I ran across while doing my Web a podcast from CIO magazine on how companies are using tools such as wikis to document the knowledge of baby boomers before they retire.

    The following is an addendum to one of the interviews I conducted:

    “Also not discussed [during the interview] was whether the wiki system was viewed as another way to assist the transition of the company into future years when trends in “baby boomer” retirements might impact overall company access to critical knowledge and expertise. This was discussed in a recent podcast [http://www.cio.com/podcasts/ciotogo/podcast.html?audio=http://www.cio.com/podcasts/ciotogo/011506/ciotogo_boomer.mp3] by CIO Magazine titled “Beating the Boomer Brain Drain Blues.” Social networks established to match up younger and older engineers in other industries are one way to facilitate business transitions impacted by key staff retirements. This “succession management” function could be an important by product of use of collaborative knowledge management technologies such as wikis.”

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  3. Thanks a lot, folks, for the feedback comments and for dropping by. Welcome to elsua!

    RE: Dennis’ comments, what an interesting commentary ! I have gone ahead and subscribe to the podcast and also listened to the podcast link you mentioned above and I just couldn’t have agreed more with it. Indeed, social networks would be able to provide the perfect blend for more experienced knowledge workers to collaborate and share what they know with the younger workforce, the new blood coming into businesses. And from what I can see, there are multiple ways as to how social networks would benefit that key, crucial knowledge gets shared by already skilled and experienced knowledge workers with other workers who may be relatively new at their jobs:

    • By mentoring: indeed, social networks are ideal for establishing mentoring relationships all over where more experienced SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) could liaise and share their best know-how with their mentees.
    • By coaching: those same SMEs would be able to coach, while on the job, the different unexperienced knowledge workers so that would continue to work smarter and learn a whole lot more while at work. Very powerful if crucial skills cannot just leave the job while providing that traditional training.
    • By sharing and collaborating in an environment where there is no hierarchy and information / knowledge just gets shared. No fuss, straight to the point.

    Thus I can certainly see how that close match-up between younger and older knowledge workers could work just as well as detailed on the podcast. Even more we should not forget that it would all be a two way road, both parties learning from one another, which, by the way, happens to be one of the key aspects as well from social networks.

    RE: Lynda‘s comments, I must say that this is not the first, nor the second, and certainly nor the last time we will be hearing some of this. And to that I can only say that we have seen it before. Lots of people were very reluctant to make use of IM (Remember when people thought that IM was just for kids? Look now who gets to use IM on a daily basis in the corporate world), yet it is one of the most powerful real-time collaboration tools inside businesses today. People did not believe in wikis or weblogs or social bookmarking tools yet millions of people are using them every day to get their work done. And the same would actually be happening with social networks. It is expected to have some sort of reluctance towards adopting something people are not really sure about. However, the main critical mass that would eventually get to use all those social networking tools are the ones who would realise about their true value and then ones that would be creating a different type of buzz. And from what I know, those are the ones we should concentrate our efforts on and help get them ready to embrace those same tools in the corporate world. After all, they are going to be the ones going to make good use of them so we might as well support them in the process.

    Thanks again for the great feedback comments, folks! Appreciated.

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  5. Thanks a lot, Jeff, for the pingback! What a great post. I thoroughly enjoyed specially one of the last sentences you shared over at your blog on this very same subject and which I think would be the key towards making social media succeed in the corporate world:

    […] in the end you can’t force relationships, just like you can’t create authenticity and you can’t manufacturer conversations. Social media makes connections easier, but it is the people who make them meaningful.

    This is just so accurate ! People need to understand that social networking and social networking tools are not tools made up for managers so that they can get all sorts of data they never thought they would get their hands on. It goes beyond that. Way beyond. Social networking has always been meant for the people, the communities that get to make use of those tools in order to be able to establish and nurture those connections, those relationships. And, whether we like it or not, without the willingness and opt-in attitude from those people belonging to those communities, we would have nothing to work with. It is all done on a voluntary basis. People wanting to connect and make a difference. Everything else is circumstantial and irrelevant, despite what some other folks may think.

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