Dog and Cat Collaborating

26 Oct Finding the Right People for the Job

We are continuing our series including tips and advice to support adoption of enterprise social technology. Today’s post will focus on identifying the best possible business partners to develop a thriving network. People and participation are core to the success of an open, collaborative environment.

So how do you find champions to help you set the tone and the pace of collaboration across an organization? What kind of attributes should they possess? How will you support them as they help build the network?

Ideal Social Business Champion Attributes:

  • Passionate to carry meaningful changes forward
  • Supportive of new forms of collaboration and open participation
  • Persistent and resilient
  • Influential to use case participants
  • Committed to regular participation
  • Strategic enough to respond to need, and shift approach as needed

Ideal Social Business Champion:

  • Share a common need or business problem
  • Open to a new way of working
  • Generally communicative or collaborative among their group

It’s important to remember that these attributes are ideal. In some cases, these ideal social business champions will need to be developed. It can be helpful to work with champion candidates to help them understand and demonstrate promotion, reward, and open discussion. Creating a space that will support open collaboration is fairly straightforward. Time and consistency in messaging and demonstrated behavior takes time, and works.

When entering into a new social experience and using tools that are open and flexible, it’s common to get feedback such as “it’s not like x tool. I need it to integrate with my other tool, or can we build in a customization so I can use it for X?” While these points are valid, and feedback should be captured and reacted to, what’s most important is creating activity to support adoption. Focus on use cases that are actionable right now.

Delays can negatively impact the delicate balance of pace and scope. If a group will not be active until they have a specific customization, integration, etc., other use cases and champions should be identified in the interim. Stick to what’s actionable and work in phases so you can keep activity high and visibly demonstrable. That visible work and those excited champions are the meaningful demonstration of success that will excite others and build the network.

We’ll be wrapping this series up next week with a little bit on growing and evolving the network. We’re eager for your feedback. Let us know what you think. Did you find this blog series helpful?

Other interesting articles:

MIT Sloan Management Review, They Built It, but Employees Aren’t Coming

McKinsey Global Institute, The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social technologies