Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Why firms should stop adopting social technologies

I was reading a piece of counterintuitive writing on the Forrester blog, when it struck me : corporations should really stop adopting social technologies or even embarking on a path towards E2.0. Wait, isn't this my job after all, helping my clients move in that direction ? In fact, it really isn't.

When I try to understand what's behind the groundswell of social technologies, three facts come to mind : deep IT & business education of entrepreneurs; availability of funding (and advice); existing web (or internet) ecosystem. Same three facts, by the way, that could help in describing Google culture (I know google culture is much more complex than just three facts ...).

I think that to reach the level of value creation existing in the social web (which is possible) corporations need to disrupt themselves. Why ? Because bringing deep IT and business education to all, making funding available for projects depending on executives flair (and not tired CAPEX measures) and opening up their intranet spaces to all, is disruptive. Because long IT projects (taking six months to choose a CSN !), existing ROI mindsets and static performance measures will not let a corporation really change.

As a leader, you should not adopt social technologies to change your corporation but think instead about why social technologies flourished in the web, in the first place. These technologies are helping unlock human potential in a way that has never been seen before. THAT is a real, worth fighting for goal for your corporation, and not, obviously, just making the number of conversations grow.