Take this E2.0 Pill

“Take this Enterprise 2.0 pill, it’s good for you.” These words seem to encapsulate how many organizations are encouraging the adoption of social media tools behind the firewall.  Unfortunately, the list of things that are good for us but we don’t try is longer than any blog post I’ve ever written.  And yet we persist in ignoring the good advice. So what makes these E2.0 advocates so sure that their slightly paternalistic approach will work?

According to Seth Godin, they are using a low-effort sales technique that rarely leads to good results:  they are doing little more than putting the facts out in front of their target audience and hoping they will be swayed.  The reality is that while stating the facts clearly sometimes does close the sale, all too often you need more than that.  In Godin’s view, the facts are just the first step:

Great brands and projects are built on real value and a real advantage, but great marketers use this as a supporting column, not the entire foundation. Instead, they build a story on top of their head start. They focus on relationships and worldviews and interactions, and use the boost from their initial head start to build competitive insulation.

So, if you’re serious about E2.0 adoption, you’re going to have to get serious about change management.  You’re going to have to focus on building relationships.  In addition, Dennis Stevenson suggests that “driving change in people is about motivating them to want to change.”  Think about what motivates your potential users.  Help them answer their first question:  “What’s in it for me?” And then figure out how to support them as they begin to use  the tool.  After all, you’re not just trying to recruit users, you’re trying to create social media advocates who will help E2.0 go viral behind your firewall.

[Photo Credit:  Rennett Stowe]

9 thoughts on “Take this E2.0 Pill

  1. Great points – “just the facts” is an almost impossible sell. As Seth said in “All Marketers are Liars” – you can't just provide “the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth” – you don't typically have enough time, people don't particularly care about the facts, they need to know what the product/service at hand can do for them, and stories/examples of that, are a much easier to “sell” Enterprise 2.0.Not to mention that stories or similar approaches are far more likely to “go viral” than mere facts. Infect the early adopters, and spread around as much of the glory and awareness of these stories as possible, and it's much easier to get emergence to happen by setting the stage appropriately.I did a presentation on virality and emergence, with the example from Web 2.0 that could absolutely be applied to Enterprise 2.0. See:http://www.slideshare.net/dan.keldsen/emergence

    1. Dan -Thanks very much. I like your notion that stories are more likely than facts to go viral. This suggests that a key part of the implementation should be finding ways to find and distribute those stories. Is this part of what you call in your slides “stacking the deck”?- Mary

      1. Mary – whew, we're rubbing elbows everywhere recently, eh? Like minds. ;)Yes, stacking the deck would refer to stories as the viral message that's conveyed, while also making all the EVIDENCE (or social proof as some might call it) that the system is being used – # of comments, # of users, most commentors, highest rated, etc.. It's part of making things “transparent” that, in my humble experience, many people miss entirely. If it's not obvious that these systems are being used… a LOT… to great effect (affect?), then while it's not impossible to have success with 2.0 systems, it's a lot less likely.As I also said in that presentation (and say often) – Luck is not a strategy. It certainly helps, but if that's the strategy, whew, better be rubbing the genie lamp 24/7…Dan

        1. Definitely like minds, Dan.Marshaling the evidence makes sense to me. And, I can see how it would behelpful for a variety of reasons to track this information. However, doesit have an impact on rate of adoption or is it mainly to document the ROIfor management?- Mary

          1. Absolutely impacts adoption – feedback loops are the key to driving adoption broadly. While there are some (early adopters in particular) who will simply use tools because they immediately see the value (and perhaps like to be the first to try everything), but for others, peer pressure, or visibility into levels of interaction is incredibly helpful.Touting activities, and rewarding activities, whether by simple call-out (most posts, most valued posts, most views, most comments, etc.) or more explicit “rewards” (and not necessarily money, BTW), creates an ongoing feedback loop – at some point, as long as people continue to see value, the system levels out and wouldn't require visible feedback – but even then, it still helps.Contrast this with many pre-2.0 systems – no sense of how content is used, who is using it, perhaps who's contributing it, how current it is, etc.. And this is why companies may pay for 1,000 seats of a “1.0” system, and only have 50 people actually using the system. Not to mention the interfaces very often make it more painful to use the system than any other given alternatives.

            1. Dan -It's a clever use of feedback loops to establish value and create theperception of peer pressure. I wonder how many folks engaged in E2.0implementations provide the usage data to management, yet forget to providethat data to the rank and file as a way to bolster the feedback loops.Thanks for some excellent guidance, Dan.- Mary

  2. Change is about people. yes.E2.0 is also about people just as much. Pull the people out of it and it falls flat on its face.I've been musing this topic as much as just change and about week ago wrote that E2.0 is about people, and people don't scale http://bit.ly/1tOmgXIf you can't engage people, don't talk about E2.0. You won't sound good.Dennis

    1. Dennis -That's tough advice for IT folks who may be more comfortable with technologythan psychology or sociology. However, you're absolutely right!Thanks for the link.- Mary

  3. Dennis -That's tough advice for IT folks who may be more comfortable with technologythan psychology or sociology. However, you're absolutely right!Thanks for the link.- Mary

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