Collaboration, enterprise 2.0 and the dimensions of trust

As a networking enterprise, one of the enterprise 2.0 most important assets is that it takes the maximum benefits from synergies between people within the enterprise. If we want such synergies to emerge, there’s one ingredient we can’t forget : trust.

So trust is necessary…but what are we really talking about ? And what’s its importance in enterprise 2.0 adoption ?

– vertical trust : that’s to say the trust people have in their superiors, and the way superiors trust their teams. One will never take initiatives, make proposals, be proactive if he’s afraid of what would happen to him because of that, how is hierarchy will react. Conversly, if the management doesn’t trust its teams, it won’t allow them any kind of autonomy, initiative and will never put them in a situation where they can exploit their full potential.

– horizontal trust : it’s the way people trust their colleagues, the other members of their teams. Thinking people who don’t trust each other will get totally involved in trying to make things together is a dream. I don’t even think of achieving common goals…only truy to do it. If you don’t trust others you’ll want to do everything by yourself…or you won’t involve in the project, thinking from the start it will be a failure.

– trust in tools : since tools are provided, people have to trust them. I’m thinking about tools on large scale. First, IT Tools. People need to be sure of tool’s reliability, that they won’t be one more constraint, that there will be people to help them adopting tools. But I also think about methodological toos : is the settled organisation efficient, will control procedures constitute fences in the project achievement, will the forkflow disencourage involvement….

– trust in oneself : it may seem obvious but how can anyone get involved in anything, give from him to the group if he’s not self-assured.

– trust in goals : the goals that are being pursued must look “good”,”just”, “necessay”. Don’t expect anything from people who don’t believe in the assigned goal.

So trust is key in all social dynamics and conditions that make it possible have to be set up. On a certain side, it also refer to Schweitezr’s words about communication.

One question we could is : is trust necessary for the community or isthe community a source of trust by itself.nce ?

I trully believe that it’s impossible to build real, efficient, living communities if there’s no trust at the begining. But I had a lot of occasion to see by myself that, as such a community is workin, it contributes to create trust in its bossom : all the dimensions of trust I mentioned above reinforce themselves everyday. As long as it’s not betrayed trust is the best trust generator, with a remarquable self-feeding ability.

As a conclusion it’s a very important factor in the adoption of enterprise 2.0, its tools and practices : a base of trust is needed to start the process, but, once adopted, those practices and tools are aslo a remedy against lack of trust in the organisation.

Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler
Head of People and Business Delivery @Emakina / Former consulting director / Crossroads of people, business and technology / Speaker / Compulsive traveler

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