SNS Implementation

CanyonThere is a gargantuan split in how people approach enterprise pull-through for enterprise social network services (SNS). The problem is naive people, in 2014, are still leading with tools and technology. What’s even worse, despite massive failures and hundreds of billions down the drain, some are following the 1990s ERP deployment handbook for social network services. Wow!

The other camp is taking the thoughtful, modern and effective approach. They have recast the mindset and activities away from IT application deployments. For high achievement with enterprise SNS focus on people and outcomes.

Furthermore, to be a bit pedantic, the correct term is social network services (SNS), not social network, social networking, social media, social business or other made-up permutations. Beware of application-speak when discussing social network services. 

For example, one pundit strongly advocated, “…companies should choose the BEST social technology…” Ouch! 


Sorry, ‘companies’ don’t do the choosing for social business anymore, people/users do. Haven’t people heard of consumerization? It’s everywhere.

Look, modern social services are not bookkeeping, payroll or supply chain management systems. You need different approaches for SNS implementation. Focus on how the services get used, not how they work. 

Furthermore, the advice-givers still use the coercive, command-and-control tone and verbiage of a generation ago. It is unwelcome. Recall, past is prologue, centrally-planned IT strategies, especially social network services, lead to pain, failure and oblivion. 

Meanwhile, the cheap marketing ploy by vendors to claim to add ‘social’ (discussion, messaging) to legacy applications is unfortunate. This also confuses the ‘social’ punditry and the moldering  KM Establishment (knowledge management). Both seem entranced by ERP legacy methods and ‘glass-room’ IT nostalgia of the last century. 

Colabria Puzzled DogFor example, here are a couple recent contradictions from a pundit, (thrusting index finger into the air), “I advocate that the only way forward for social business is deploying one enterprise social networking tool and integrating it into all other business systems as the singular dialogue engine for commentary and collaboration enterprise-wide.”  This is so wrong it hurts.

Besides being the categorically wrong approach, further along the same misinformed pundit claimed, “So, I’m not saying that people MUST use an enterprise SNS!” Huh? This ‘expert’ is clueless. Avoid the lost puppies in social media and the siren song of social business punditry. 

The other, responsible camp recognizes and accepts that the actual SNS offering is not important. Yes, parochial technologists and pundits see this as heresy. However, authentic experts and true authorities recognize SNS matters how it us used, not how it works (or who makes it)! 

Another contradiction of the SNS dilettantes is correctly agreeing collaboration is a behavior, then claim it is an application feature. Huh?

These contradictions are very confusing and counterproductive. Employees have enough to do besides being led astray by social pundits and project-oriented social business blowhards. 

Look, virtually all applications in the enterprise portfolio are social; always were, always will be. Remember, anything disposed for use by humans and inhabiting a rationally bounded space like a company, industry or community for a shared outcome is social. No exceptions.

questionHere is a question for the big-shot analysts and so-called social media experts publishing their circa 1990 views in 2014: what enterprise SNS is used by 100% of companies worldwide? It has your colleagues’ names and addresses. This pervasive enterprise social network service accommodates human interactions for individuals, groups and topics. It’s open and spans organizational boundaries. It lets you share messages, documents, diagrams, spreadsheets and pictures. It conducts commerce and completes transactions. In a recent poll of global CIOs this particular enterprise SNS was names as the Number One Mission Critical Application of the Enterprise by over 70% of the executive respondents. This global SNS is integrated with virtually the entire IT portfolio. Pray tell, what is the breakthrough enterprise SNS? Yep. That’s right, email.

The claims are about social technology and SNS are just ridiculous. It is unfair and irresponsible for so-called experts to take the social nature of work out of the equation. Shame on them.

Telephony and other social network services are critical to the organizational mission but do not receive attention from the social pundits, self-styled experts or KM dilettantes. Why? Usually It’s because they don’t know what they are talking about. They are victims of the shiny object syndrome (SOS) – they are easily distracted by the newest fads and unable to focus on what matters. Beware.     

Most these social enterprise wannabees are sincere but are clearly struggling to understand how to advance enterprise productivity, innovation and prosperity in the 21st Century. Embrace and sponsor consumerization. Return the keys to the kingdom to the business, users and customers. Please, get out of the way, people are trying to get stuff done! Listen.

Furthermore, please forget about mandating IT, features or apps. That’s deadly and obsolete. Rather, focus on people and the rest will follow.

Please throw out the useless 1990s IT handbook, it’s finished. Your rigid management practices of the last century don’t fit anymore. Forget about measurement, projects, short-term activities, applications, collaboration, reuse, etc. Get out of your office or cubical and step into the 21st Century. Start the conversation!

To really achieve fundamental advancements here are four approaches to SNS adoption that are extraordinarily effective…

Appreciative Inquiry

Presencing and Theory U

If that is too much to handle, please just take the advice of 8th graders to shift your SNS mindset.

Finally, at Colabria we have identified five Enterprise Mega-Shifts. They render the methods of the past obsolete overnight. We have had particularly great success deploying SNS using participatory action/research (praxis intervention) and Next Practices™.

Colabria Action Research

Colabria EET

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