Enterprise Social Governance: Who Owns What and Why

Blog post published to tibbr blog.  Slides on SlideShare.

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.

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Operational Barriers to SocialBiz Success

I hosted a webinar for Awareness, Inc. back in December 2009 about operational barriers to social business success.  Christine Major provides a great summary on her blog that includes the Twitter stream of commentary.

I began the webinar by characterizing social business.

Characteristics of Social Business

  1. People-centric (employees, customers, business partners)
  2. Transparent processes
  3. Culture of trust
  4. Egalitarian (everyone participates and has a voice)
  5. Self-organizing networks
  6. Two-way, unstructured information exchange
  7. Events are orchestrated, not controlled

What I found in my research at IDC is that many large organizations maintain a hierarchical, command and control management model that is at direct odds with social business.  Traditional corporate culture often supports business operations that act as barriers to social business transformation.  These internal barriers are what many businesses will have to overcome in order to realize the full potential of participating in social media.  (Full webinar recording below)

Ten Operational Barriers to Social Business

  1. Organizational silos
  2. Command and control management
  3. Top-down, one-way communication channels
  4. Social activities not integrated into work flow
  5. Employees measured on individual performance
  6. Competitive culture
  7. No guidelines or training for social media
  8. No methods for measuring social value
  9. No executive sponsor for social initiatives
  10. No role models for social media initiatives (peers with experience and expertise)

Here is the full webinar posted by Awareness, Inc.  Thanks @cmajor and @bostonmike.

I’d like your feedback.
Did I miss anything?
I’d also like to hear from you about the biggest challenge your business is facing today with social initiatives.