What makes this case study useful and interesting is its emphasis on organization not technology. There’s an undercurrent in the article that everything is all a bit “socialist” somehow and isn’t that a surprise, which I found annoying at points. The more interesting point is that a bunch of engineers and big-organization executives are essentially concluding that hierarchy isn’t scaling well enough to meet their goals.
I meet with the proposed leader and a couple of key members, and we go through everything, then they may or may not talk to their team before coming back to me to finalise.
Then I ask the leader to pilot the community with a few key members, this way when it’s opened to more people they can visit and read the content and discussions that have already taken place. The idea is to make it attractive and engaging on the first visit.
The other aspect to this is that the community leader and key members will be proficient users and will be empowered to tackle questions by new users.
Something I’ll add here is that the person I talk to has to be the community leader, they have to be the passionate person. What happens with organisational/team based communities, as opposed to practice or share interest communities, is that a sponsor will set it up with me, and then they leave it to others to run€¦whereas I’d rather speak to those others from the start as well€¦I want a relationship with the person running the community. I want the nominated person to be passionate and committed, and not doing it because their boss said so€¦this is something I try to make known to their boss.
I’ve mentioned that some people:
– think they want a community, but don’t, once they find out it’s not what they wanted
– don’t have time to commit
– don’t like the top-down process of having to set one up
My speculation is that we would have hundreds of abandoned communities, as people would realise it’s not what they want, they don’t know it’s about conversation, they don’t know how to facilitate, etc€¦
Simply, if there is a button called “create a new community”, people will press it, but if the button is “request a community” and outlines steps in involved, they are more inclined to wait another day, or never (and continue as an email gang)€¦that’s human nature. But then again if they are really passionate about enhancing their email gang with more appropriate tools, then they will make time for the formal process of starting a community.
But then our communities are more robust than Facebook groups, you can do a lot more with the structure, permissions, and look and feel. Facebook groups are more disposable whereas our communities seem more professional. With our communities you wouldn’t go to the trouble to creating a “Nicole Kidman hate group” (well you wouldn’t do this in the enterprise anyway), as they take longer to set-up, and gather people€¦so I’m thinking here that there is a difference between a group and a community, or at least a group being a feature of a social network.
And of course it depends on your culture eg. if I was talking about a company like Google, I would assume their culture is web 2.0 savvy, and can probably survive on bottom-up creation. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they have facilitating and leadership skills.
Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.