Use Internal Social Networks to Put a Merciful End to Email

Published by Chris Oestereich on

The 2014 Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte found that only 17% of respondents see themselves as having mature social business practices. Maturity means that information from social media and collaboration tools is used to drive decisions, is seen as valuable to create powerful and positive change and can play a role in innovation, talent management and operations. The report’s subtitle is “moving beyond marketing,” but many firms have not yet been able to do that.

Full post: Are Companies Ready to Finally Kill Email?

  1. Having taken part in such an implementation, I can attest to the opportunity it affords. I created a group in which I’d share links and ideas intended to drive discussion around the future of the firm and possibilities for innovation. The group attracted folks who wanted to participate in such discussions and it quickly took on a life of its own. We were gaining members from the far corners of a silo-ed, distributed firm. Ideas were really starting to flow, and people who might have never met otherwise were getting to know each other. Unfortunately, a management change led to the end of the social experiment. It’s a real bummer. It’s as if an experimental rocket was about to enter the final launch sequence, but it was called on account of rain and then the rocket was sold for scrap. It was a disheartening experience to be  sure.

I don’t have data to back up my beliefs on this, but I’m certain that such technology can be beneficial in multiple ways, not the least of which is acting as a sledgehammer to the virtual walls between organizational silos. It’s also a great possibility as a innovation engine. (That’s something which might have to be teased out, or somehow otherwise led, but it’s definitely possible.) And I think a firm that’s looking to develop an intrapreneurial culture in general might do well to go down this path.

In recent years, some business leaders have advocated a shift away from remote work using the unexpected connections that can develop in the office environment as part of the justification. Internal social networks are asynchronous, virtual water coolers that are always just a glance away. In short, I’m in favor.