All good business leaders know that the right people are their most valuable asset. A leader’s primary objective should be to empower people to achieve their full potential and enable them to share their knowledge to better accelerate business objectives.
Creating a compelling, open and rewarding atmosphere of collaboration and knowledge sharing is one of the most important responsibilities of a business leader. Beyond establishing a culture of openness, organizations need enabling tools that support key business objectives. Increasingly, companies are turning to enterprise social networks to overcome information silos and communication barriers. Companies implementing social networks tend to have common goals: to break down geographic and organization boundaries, flatten organizational hierarchy and drive collective action, according to Rob Koplowitz of Forrester Research, Inc*.
Implemented properly, open culture and collaboration software can combine to create a social fabric that sparks new passion and increases innovation among the people in an organization.
Every organization struggles to connect people with the information they need. People searching for the right experts within the company usually don’t have a good way to find them. Critical resources and information get walled off inside email inboxes, individual PC or a team folder that isn’t available across the organization. Capturing that collective knowledge can seem like a huge task because of the wide range of facts, information and skills attained through experience. With an enterprise social community, that data gets captured every time someone posts an update, is assigned a task, joins a team or answers a question – and it’s there when someone else comes along in need of the information later. That improves efficiency, captures an organization’s memory, and avoids duplication of efforts.
So far, I’ve focused on how social helps with collaboration, but what about the passion I mentioned earlier? The social fabric created by the pervasive and smart use of an enterprise social network emboldens and empowers people. They will have more opportunities to speak up, join together, and contribute their skills and ideas. It’s not just a matter of giving people a soap box from which to spout their opinions, but rather giving them a voice that they know will be heard. With my company, Neudesic, we’ve seen that increased voice ignite passion for innovation for many people across the company, not just the few at the center.
At Neudesic, everyone knows the leadership is paying attention to what they say on our enterprise social network, Neudesic Pulse. We respond to people’s urgent or critical needs and praise them publicly for their good work. Today, with more than 500 employees and 16 offices around the country and abroad, I have more insight into what our people are doing, what concerns they have, what project they’re working on and what our customers are saying than I did when we were a company of 10 people. Even more importantly, people share with me how connected they feel to the organization and understand the vision and values of the company as it relates to them and their work. They feel empowered and, in turn, passionate.
Enterprise social networking is one of the most exciting and valuable technology trends today for good reason. Companies are only beginning to scratch the surface of what is possible with enterprise social fabric as a transformative communication platform. My personal passion is to help people and companies leverage the empowerment each gains from open collaboration into realizing their full potential. If your people are not empowered, how can they be passionate?