I already shared my experience in working social with my supply chain and partners to organize events and Marketing campaigns and where I benefit through Social Software in my external relations with customers through usage of communities and more. Obviously I am not only using Social Software externally. IBM is meanwhile a real Social Business and a lot of my daily work is social. I am member and driving a lot of communities, where I am sharing information, work on projects, track activities and much more. At the Dachis Social Business Summit I was talking about two of my favorite use cases beyond the daily project work (which has already been covered in a way in the description of working with my supply chain. The way of collaborating internally on projects is not different).
I am an Apple-user, because I prefer the usability, the elegance and performance of iOS much over Windows. To many bluescreens and extremely slow startup times in my career … IBM’ers are entitled to use and bring their own devices (BYOD) including Mac, iPad and iPhone for their work. IT provides basic access to the IBM network but does not support Apple-devices through the IT Support Center. Honestly I was struggling quite a while. Should I really use my private Mac for work without support? Over a weekend I gave it a try and did configure my Mac for the IBM network. And it went very smooth.
The information and knowledge, how to do it, was available in the IBM Social Intranet in Wikis and info pages. But even more important for me became the IBM Mac-community I joined. This community (based on IBM Connections) including subcommunities covering e.g. the iPhone and iPad or Notes on Mac is literally my lifeboat, when I have technical issues and questions. Thousands of IBM’ers have joined this community to exchange and retrieve information and knowledge, how to use the Apple-devices. Meanwhile I am using my Mac since years as premier business computer within IBM with only two interceptions during the whole time. And these interceptions were caused to a blizzard in the US interrupting my access to the VPN Host. All other questions or issues were resolved and answered by the Mac-community.
It is an outstanding example, how a Special Interest Community is helping and becomes a self service community providing highest quality content. And it shows that people are willing and able to help each other in such a community. What is their motivation? Obviously urgent interest in and dedication to a topic. On top people make themselves visible as experts in a specific area, in this case experts for Mac, iPad or iPhone. For IBM it has a nice side effect: Product Development – in particular for IBM Collaboration Solutions – benefits from the community as a testbed for the products and does get input on new features and functions. My personal result: Since over 3 years I live Microsoft-free and in this time frame all problems with my Mac and iOS devices were resolved in a more than reasonable time
This only one example of many „Self-Service & Special Interest Communities“ within IBM and I am sure, you are able to identify such communities in your Enterprise, too. I have seen a lot of examples with our customers. Another Special Interest Community, I am member off, is the Digital IBMer community. In this community IBMers interested in social technology and the social way of working have joined and share their expertise. We discuss and develop best practises, how to be in Social Media as an IBMer, what the rules of engagement are and how to convince and train other IBMers about the new world of Social Business. We share essential bookmarks, interesting links, ask questions, get answers, place requests for help, share news & announcements, and provide insight. It is inspiring place to collaborate and communicate with forward thinkers around the world like Luis Suarez or Rawn Shaw on all topics around Social Business.
The members of this community are social software-evangelists, who energize and enable other IBMers about social networking and Social Business. It is again a Special Interest Community infusing Social more and more into IBM’s DNA. And obviously the initiative is being supported by the IBM Management seeing the business value of IBM becoming a Social Business. Use this as a best practise for your company on its journey to a Social Business. Identify the Social Media experts and geeks in your company, let them join forces and share expertise in a community, let them develop with you Social Media Guidelines and then encourage them to enable other parts of your organization. It is the viral way of getting the social message and the Social Workplace out into your company.
There are obviously a lot more use cases within IBM and I was talking about them in Berlin:
- the internal Social Network replacing the traditional Corporate Directory, becoming the much value-generating and richer Corporate Directory,
- the Wiki-capabilities to share information and knowledge in a new formed team and much more.
We have reached a point where the vision of Knowledge Management has the chance to become much more real-world than ever. Easier to use technology is meanwhile available and – even more important – the culture has dramatically changed. People – in particular the younger shareaholics – are used to Social Media, Twitter and Facebook. They are now much more willing and used to openly share information. Is there scepticism? Are some people resistant to become social? Sure. We are on a journey and it is our obligation to educate people, how to live social in the enterprise and beyond in external social channels, while maintaining and protecting their privacy (and their employers intellectual property and business secrets).
This is the last of three postings based on a presentation I gave at the Dachis Summit in Berlin on May 23, 2012. This presentation is mapping out, how and where I am using Social Software and functionality in my job as marketer at IBM. Hopefully it inspires you to work more social in your daily work, not only in Marketing.