E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Impact of Social Software Within the Enterprise by Jon Iwata

Barcelona - Mercado de la Boquería - Chocolate!After the wonderful Lotusphere Comes to You 2009 events (in both Madrid & Barcelona) from last week and after taking a couple of days off to enjoy thoroughly both cities, it is time to return back home and, with that, back into my usual and regular blogging activities. Yes, indeed, it has been a few days since last time I blogged over here, so we may as well get things going again!

And to come back in full force, I thought I would share with you an interesting video interview that I am sure is going to make you think about several things twice. Eventually. Many folks have been questioning the relevance and importance of social computing within the enterprise. For some people it doesn’t seem to provide much value, and for others they just don’t seem to understand why you would want to hide all of those conversations behind the firewall. For a bunch of others, though, it is quite the contrary. Corporate social networking is just as essential as any other business process, knowledge sharing or collaborative tool available out there to help improve the productivity of your knowledge workers.

I am one of those folks who thinks along those lines of the latter commentary, having been exposed to corporate social software tools behind the firewall as early as 2001. Yes, eight years ago! Throughout all of that time I have come to the conclusion that without social software becoming available within the corporate environment we wouldn’t been been very much involved any longer with such key and important disciplines as knowledge sharing, nor collaboration. Innovation would not have been taken into new heights and, in short, we wouldn’t have been as productive and knowledgeable as we are now.

But what happens with control? What happens with that command-and-control attitude that still seems to reign in multiple businesses to get the job done? Yes, what happens with that illusion? How does it cope then with social software adoption within the firewall? Should it? Should every business have some kind of guideline on how to get the best out of social software?

Well, to answer those and a few other questions, here is where I would encourage you all to watch this YouTube video with IBM‘s Jon Iwata (Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications) where he spends just about three minutes (Pretty much following a similar format to the video interviews I mentioned in the past from Cisco’s John Chambers) explaining all about what’s like letting control go to get the best from your own knowledge workers…


Oh, and in case you are wondering, here you have got the link to another blog post I did a little while ago, where I covered the topic of IBM’s own Social Computing Guidelines. Another great story of leading by example; of walking the talk. And this time around coming along from very high up in the organisation… Now, who was saying again that senior executives don’t get it? Or that corporate social software doesn’t have an impact, nor does it disrupt the enterprise world as we know it?

We may need to think again …

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  1. Lovely chocolate picture. I could not resist.

    Have you seen any useful examples of the type of corporate leadership this video and the policy example you gave in the global NGO sector?

    1. Hi Nancy! LOL! You see? While I was scanning for a lovely picture to share with this blog post, I bumped into that one and thought of you right away! I had to share it! It’s from one of the main markets in Barcelona city center (La Boquería) and let me tell you, that was just one of the various stands! Almost felt like staying there whole day and sleeping there for the evening!! Goodness!! (Never saw so much chocolate laying around waiting to be eaten!! lol)

      With regards to your question, unfortunately, I haven’t seen, nor bumped, into any specific examples that would be worth while mentioning. In my experience, and from the folks I have been talking to in that sector, things are still starting slowly. Plenty of organisations, at least, on this side of the pond, are still watching out what’s happening in the business world, to learn from that experience and apply key learnings before diving into the whole thing. So I would suspect it is going to take a little while before we see it more evidently.

      I will keep asking around though, Nancy, and see if I can come up with something more concrete. I think it would be worth while sharing, for sure, with others, so that they can also benefit from it.

      Thanks again for the feedback!

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