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"Overcoming the Fear: What C-Level Execs are Afraid of When it Comes to Social Intranets" - Social Intranet Summit 2011

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"Overcoming the Fear: What C-Level Execs are Afraid of When it Comes to Social Intranets" - Social Intranet Summit 2011

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Overcoming the Fear: What C-Level execs are afraid of when it comes to social intranets

Let’s face it, the biggest hurdle to overcome with a social intranet is often pure fear. The C-level can be hopelessly gunshy about employees displaying the slightest about of intranet-sanctioned social humanity. The idea of a social network behind the firewall wakes them up in a cold sweat at night. Where did this fear come from? And can it be overcome?

Presented by Deane Barker at the Social Intranet Summit 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Overcoming the Fear: What C-Level execs are afraid of when it comes to social intranets

Let’s face it, the biggest hurdle to overcome with a social intranet is often pure fear. The C-level can be hopelessly gunshy about employees displaying the slightest about of intranet-sanctioned social humanity. The idea of a social network behind the firewall wakes them up in a cold sweat at night. Where did this fear come from? And can it be overcome?

Presented by Deane Barker at the Social Intranet Summit 2011 in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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"Overcoming the Fear: What C-Level Execs are Afraid of When it Comes to Social Intranets" - Social Intranet Summit 2011

  1. 1. Overcoming the Fear What C-Level execs are afraid of when it comes to social intranets
  2. 2. “Hey, we’re going to let all the employees publish content to the intranet.”
  3. 3. What is everyone so afraid of?
  4. 4. Planned Trigger Points Non-Work Related Information Personal Opinions Information Critical to Employer
  5. 5. Organizations Insurance Company, West Coast (800) Government Agency, Ontario (480) Financial Institution, Midwest (240) Financial Institution, Midwest (2,000) Product Company, Midwest, (2,700) Health Services Company, U.S. (3,500) Etc.
  6. 6. Interviewees Director of Communications Director for Internal Communications Chief of Staff Corporate Counsel Directing Officer, Business Communications Etc.
  7. 7. Does this bother you? Why?
  8. 8. The “Reach for the Phone” Moment
  9. 9. Disclaimer: Identification is NOT Endorsement!
  10. 10. 1. Lack of Social Filters There are people who haven’t been indoctrinated into the social norms of the organization New hires New professionals
  11. 11. 2. Productivity Less concerned with actual productivity loss More concern with the perception of productivity loss Implied message: it’s okay to do other stuff during company time
  12. 12. 3. Confidentiality Information in an organization operates at graduated levels of security If the default mode is “share,” too much ends up getting shared “Forward-looking statements”
  13. 13. 4. Diffusion of Official Communication How can an employee evaluate the “officialness” of multiple communication channels? How can employees determine what they should be accountable for?
  14. 14. 5. Trails of Discoverability Sarbanes–Oxley Every communication is inherently taxed by a “burden of discoverability”
  15. 15. 6. “Concerted Activities” National Labor Relations Act protects union organizing activities Employees are protected whenever they collaborate to improve the terms of their employment Efforts to censor this may be illegal
  16. 16. 7. Mob Mentality If one person complains, everyone will complain Unspoken critiques of the organization should stay unspoken, lest they multiply
  17. 17. Broken Window Theory Image by Flickr user “GloomyCorp”
  18. 18. Organizational Surface Tension Image by Andre Roberto Doreto Santos
  19. 19. 8. Asymmetrical Usage Some people will communicate a lot Some people won’t communicate much…or well. What value judgments will people draw from this?
  20. 20. Solutions?
  21. 21. The Benefit Must Be Sold All organizational communication carries risk Any attempt to broaden communication has to have a larger benefit than the inherent risk
  22. 22. Localize Decision makers were much more receptive to inter-team/unit communication than organization-wide communication Communication needs context Localization breeds context
  23. 23. Promote Respect for Norms Tie the ability to contribute to time in the organization Access and privileges expand with time elapsed from DOH
  24. 24. Leverage Your Vendor’s Experience There’s a tendency to pretend irrational reasons don’t exist Be honest with your vendor, even if it’s embarrassing Ask what other customers have done to overcome these issues
  25. 25. WEB http://gadgetopia.com TWITTER @gadgetopia EMAIL deane@blendinteractive.com

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