Mitigating Real or Perceived Risks

Here are my notes from the fifth session of the Enterprise 2.0 Black Belt Workshop:  Mitigating Real or Perceived Risks


  • Kevin Jones, Social Media & Network Strategist/Manager, NASA/MSFC
  • Bart Schutte, Director, Web & Architecture, Saint-Gobain


[These are my quick notes, complete with  (what I hope is no more than) the occasional typo and grammatical error.  Please excuse those. Thanks!

From time to time, I’ll insert my own editorial comments – exercising the prerogatives of the blogger.  I’ll show those in brackets. ]


The Proactive approach to dealing with Nay-sayers.

  • What are the common objections?
    • What if someone enters the wrong information?
    • Compliance risks
    • Why would I want to use these tools if I’m already very productive?
    • If I share, I’ll lose my competitive edge
    • I don’t have time for this!
    • This will cause an eDiscovery headache
    • I need to be careful about what I say
    • We don’t want negative comments
    • Why can’t the search act like Google?
    • What I say will be used against me
    • I don’t want to look stupid
    • If I post something, my boss will think I’m not working
  • What are the perspectives of Executives?
    • They expect E2.0 to help increase innovation
    • They expect E2.0 to improve process and work products
    • They are afraid that workers will “waste time”
    • They are suspicious of employees who are “social” [as opposed to serious]
    • Worried about legal compliance concerns
  • What are the perspectives of  HR?
    • This will attract and retain talent
    • This will help us shape (reshape) organizational culture
    • Worry about employee efficiency
    • Worry about liability
  • What are the perspectives of  Middle Managers
    • They like the possibility of improving their ability to operate globally
    • Helps get junior staff into a network
    • They worry about loss of control (information ownership is control)
    • They worry about losing the automatic credibility/authority that comes from their position
  • What are the perspectives of the Employee?
    • This is a great way to increase my visibility
    • This will give me greater access to information, experts and resources
    • What I say and do will be used against me
    • I’ll be pressured to participate and will be judged badly if I don’t
    • I worry that others will say/post things about me that I don’t like?
    • What if my confidential information is disclosed?

Real Issues vs Perceived Issues:

  • Real Issues
    • Employee Rights issues
    • Personal data protection issues
    • Company liabiltiy for
      • Employee Rights issues
      • Personal Data Protection issues
    • Control challenge for managers
    • Confidentiality concerns
    • Workers’ Counsil issues (primarily in Europe)
  • Perceived Issues (i.e., issues that we are already dealing with)
    • There is no clear ROI/Business justification
    • E2.0 is a waste of time
    • Inappropriate content
    • Accuracy of information
    • Participant’s age or ability
    • Unsupportive culture
    • Controlling the content
    • Information overload
    • Employees will abuse system and waste time
  • This is all about PEOPLE
    • Most perceived isses are emotional – regardless of the subject
    • While all of the issues seem real, not one is new
    • But the speed of E2.0 makes the issues seem more pressing
  • Solutions can he found to all of these issues
  • Address these issues direstly with key stakeholders
    • Involve HR and Legal early in the process.  Get their perspectives and include them in the job of solving the problems with you.
    • Ask them to help you set appropriate policy
  • Create and Champion policy decisions that support an “Open” approach
  • Focus heavily on educating employees so that they use the tools intelligently, productively and safely
    • This may include doing one-on-one training if that helps the reluctant or nervous to get started
    • Give people a “sandbox” to try the new tools and behaviors
  • Use the community of users to self-monitor and self-regulate, but be willing to report of issues that are not effectively handled by the community

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