The social intranet in Russia

The social intranet in Russia

Not unlike the great literature and poetry of some of the Russian greats such as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy and Pushkin, of which I am so fond, the Russian intranets also show great potential. And akin to ours in the Western World, the social intranet is still in its infancy in the former Soviet Union.

In fact, Russians are incredibly social; amongst the most social societies, if not the most, on the Internet (Universal McCann, 2011):

  • 81% of all Russians use social networks
  • 71% of all Ukrainians use social networks

“Russians are the most socially networked people in the World,” says Anna Kravitz, the most popular blogger and writer on Enterprise 2.0 in the CIS states (former Soviet Union), speaking at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in Moscow. However, just as Western intranets lag behind their Internet cousins, the corporate websites (and all things social on the public-facing Internet), the Russian enterprise ha

s been slow to adopt and extend intranet 2.0 (enterprise 2.0) tools to employees.

Kravitz cites a number of statistics that are very similar to those in the West, in fact almost identical, to Western statistics three years ago:

  • 63% of organizations restrict access to social media (e.g. Facebook or Russian equivalents)
  • 50% are familiar or are becoming familiar with enterprise 2.0 tools and potential
  • 32% understand the concept of enterprise 3.0 (the next generation; think semantic computing)

The most common social tool in the Russian enterprise: the wiki. However, in a reverse of cultural trends contrasting enterprise social media in the West and East, social networking (employee networking) is regarded as the most valuable corporate tool, whereas the wiki is regarded as the least valuable of all the enterprise 2.0 tools.

Drivers or reasons behind the investment and deployment of enterprise 2.0 tools in Russia, however, reveal a very distinctive, if not Soviet, difference: the principal driver in Russia, is employee motivation (using 2.0 tools to motivate employees). Though I am admittedly quite naïve to Russian corporate culture, and only formal research should confirm the notion, when I hear “employee motivation” I think of those marvelous Soviet era propaganda posters and symbolism use to ‘motivate’ the workers and proletariat (much of which are still very omnipresent today on buildings, in the subway (Metro), and within public spaces across Moscow). In the West, the principal drivers for investing in intranet 2.0 tools are employee collaboration, and knowledge management.

However, my fatigue and jet lag may have me looking  like a disoriented Bill Murray, on the wrong side of the pond, lost in translation. Tomorrow: Russian intranet case studies.

Source: Intranet Blog

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