For large companies, a well-defined governance framework is critical for scaling and sustaining social networking participation across the enterprise. Adoption of social networking software remains an industry challenge and the general lack of leadership remains one of the largest culprits. Social networking depends on a critical mass of participants (people) who are connected by a common purpose or interest that drives sharing behaviors. The purpose of a social networking governance framework is to define this common purpose and set of goals to guide the entire business on how to leverage this new software for positive business outcomes. Otherwise, people will use social networking as they see fit, mostly for their own individual or departmental gain, which will ultimately inhibit any social business initiative that provides any real, business value.
In the case of social networking, governance is less about control than it is about guidance and leadership. A command and control approach to governance will backfire with social networking because it does not promote an environment built on trust. A culture of trust is a critical success factor for social networking because it relies on employees taking initiative to volunteer information about themselves and their work which they will not do if they do not trust how this information will be used. A clear understanding of rules of the game fosters trust. That is why a governance framework that establishes a common interest for sharing information with coworkers is essential.
This presentation describes the best practice approach to enterprise social governance as well as the key roles and responsibilities to support a successful social software deployment.