Sunday, November 30, 2008

Adopting Social Media

Yesterday I read Chris Brogan’s post “If I started today” in which he outlines a few starting ideas for working with social media. I would like to explore this question further.

I feel there is a strong component of change management which needs to be addressed. What is the culture in your organization? How do individuals in your organization value the web? How do you develop a culture of online engagement and networking; one of collaboration, sharing and participation?

Please understand that I'm not an expert in organizational change, but I think to be successful, it will need to start with individual change. I like the ADKAR model for individual change (see definition in Wikipedia).

This model describes five required building blocks for change to be realized successfully on an individual level. The building blocks of the ADKAR Model include:
  1. Awareness – of why the change is needed
  2. Desire – to support and participate in the change
  3. Knowledge – of how to change
  4. Ability – to implement new skills and behaviors
  5. Reinforcement – to sustain the change
In this model, I think the second and third building blocks, Desire and Knowledge, are the most difficult. While we can develop Awareness (which we do through our annual technology showcase) and Ability through training opportunities, Desire has to come from the individual perspective of value. How I feel about and use social media doesn’t always translate well to my colleagues. At the same time, I interpret Knowledge not as how to use technology, but how to make the change within your own time-constrained and political environment.

I’m not worried as much about Reinforcement (might be a mistake) because if you can find the value, gain the desire and skills, then I believe your new network will help sustain you. Of course having some administrative support at evaluation time (and possibly some nice numbers and anecdotal benefits will help).

I’d be interested in feedback. What do you think? What has been your experience bringing an organization (its people) into the world of social media?

1 comment:

John Dorner said...

Based on your answer to my question on FriendFeed, I'm posting my comments THERE.

I'm posting the link here so anyone reading here can join in the conversation over there.