Is facebook Evil or a nice training field ?

Serena Software looked conspicuous those last weeks by encouraging its employees to use Facebook. An interesting news at the time the famous social network was accused of making companies loose millions of dollars.

According to Serena’s CEO , preserving a community spirit et creating link inside the company is key in success and performance. Nothing really new so far as HR specialists have been knowing it for long. But what makes the difference is that he understood that community spirit cannot emerge from emails and workflows and that something more was needed. It’s also in order to acquire the needed state of mind and best practices that will not only help to attract the “digital natives” but also to  make the most of their skills.

One may argue that that there are better tools than Facebook to build and enterprise social network and that’s true. But here the purpose is not only to build and enteprise social network but a network, nothing more and nothing less. It also allows the company to keep control on its presence on facebook. I really think that many Dow Jones companies’ CxOs would be surprised to see how many unofficial groups bearing the company’s name and managed by employees exist on Facebook. No one can deny the positive effects it has on the enterprise’s media profile.

Even if I don’t think Facebook my become an enteprise project tool, it’s a good way to start and learn the social network’s best practices before going further.
It’s really a great training field for employees who can train blanks before the next step : participation in real enterprise condition. It’s a kind of behaviors ans management that has to be experienced to be acquired and must be learned by doing.

Perharps some will say Serena  is an isolated case. But I don’t think so : lot of companies are now trying to understand Facebook and take benefits from it. It’s, for example, the situation at IBM or SAP, where productivity drop due to Facebook is estimated close from zero.

The first reflex is to say : more facebook = less time for working = less producitivity. I don’t believe it’s true because people arbitrate their time to have the job done.

In the other hand, some companies are making the opposite choice, prohibiting the use of such social platform, even blogs. What to think about it ? I had the chance to exchange a few words with Don Tapscott after he presented the french edition of Wikinomics, two weeks ago. Talking about similar problematics he said something like that : ” no need to make big cases studies to know in which direction the wind is blowing…better trying to turn all these changes into opportunities instead of fighting against the unavoidable.

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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