Ecological Approach to Collaboration Adoption


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Ecosystems are defined by the interactions between organisms and their environment. Your corporate ecosystem is defined by the interactions between people and the other part of their environment, like organizational structure, culture, ways of working and business objectives. To change any one of these elements you need to consider them all, that is why introducing new ways of working requires both a measured and a nurturing approach.

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  • Not about usage, unique users, number of click or amount of stored documents – all of these things may be indicators of successful adoption but do not reflect the whole story.It is about value – without value generation you will not have sustained adoption.
  • Ways to address:It is important to map to business objectivesOften people come to you and say my team or group needs to collaborate better. This indicates a need to identify their true objectives, ask what is it that they want to do and why?
  • This has been an important concept to communicate to leadership as they need to have realistic expectations of what can be achieved. This is not like a normal launch of an IT tool, putting the tools out there will not = success.Changing human behavior takes time and eliciting overall cultural change takes even longer as it can only be achieved as a result of the union of many such changes.
  • This doesn’t mean that you have no strategy and it’s complete anarchy but that you need to take a flexible and adaptive approach to defining strategy based on business need. Think in terms of empowering people and enabling them to succeed while providing guidance and support.
  • Take a more ecological approach to adoptionAllow people to start their own sites, groups and communities and see what happensGradual or virallaunch of platform and ways of working allows autonomy and seeds positive stories into the corporate communityIntroducing a new way of working means allowing people to engage gradually They need time and freedom to figure out what works for themThey also need guidance and help in finding their way
  • Coaching and Advice service provides the Trojan mice – small groups identified by the business as strategic to objectivesProvide 2 levels of supportNurtured/Guided – this could take several forms: the service provides a robust framework, a soup-to-nuts approach and the entry point could come anywhere on the spectrumSelf-service
  • C&A EngagementsCollaboration Community Forum and Community Managers ForumSocial presence and active listening – we do this using social but could be done using discussion forums, surveys, interviews etc.
  • There is no end point, no way to measure when you have “arrived”. It is always a work in progress and remaining adaptive is vital. There is an opportunity to leverage the tools and ways of working in how you capture learning in an open and collaborative way.
  • Once you have captured learning it is important to share what you have learned. This can be done by all anyone, KM, IT, community managers, members etc. This is all part of creating a culture of openness and allowing learning at all stages of the journey.Examples:ForumsCase studiesPresentationsBlogsShare!
  • Ecological Approach to Collaboration Adoption

    1. 1. An Ecological Approach to Collaboration Adoption Maximizing Value
    2. 2. Defining Adoption • What does adoption mean? • Is it about getting people to use the toolset?
    3. 3. Making Adoption = Value• Adoption is value if it represents a positive change to ways of working that maps to business objectives• In order to change ways of working you need to influence human behavior
    4. 4. It is a JourneyTwo things we know about human behavior:• Human behavior is hard to predict• Changing it takes TIME
    5. 5. Messy is a good thing • Defining a strategic approach is hard when you are predicting human behavior • This is especially true when you want people to take ownership of their use and application of these tools – it is very difficult to predict where they will go.
    6. 6. Take an Ecological Approach• Deploy the Trojan Mice• Introducing a new way of working means allowing people to engage gradually
    7. 7. Coaching • Hands-on approach to guide some key groups that want more help • Self-service framework for those that want to go it on their own
    8. 8. Learn • Monitor what is happening, capture and most importantly LEARN from them!
    9. 9. Capture• Capture what is working in an open and dynamic way• Create a simple operating model for others to follow• Review, revise and adapt as you learn – it’s a constant work in progress
    10. 10. Teach and Share• Tell stories about what’s happening• Encourage others to share and to copy and apply what is working
    11. 11. Summary•Adoption = value•Change takes time•Have a flexible strategy•Allow people to engage gradually•Provide guidance•Learn as you go•Capture what you have learned•Share!Successful collaboration takes work!