Over the last 5 years the deployment of collaboration tools at work increased. The intranet, wikis, knowledgebase and email are being redesigned; in some cases replaced by internal collaboration software that integrates all of them.
This software is not new for those of you who have been using the web since the early days. Companies like MySpace achieved great success by allowing users to share and collaborate on music projects. The backbone of all social networks, consumer or corporate was invented a long time ago.
So, back to my initial question. Why do we need a social network in the office?
First of all, I don’t like to hide myself behind the email firewall. If I want to know what my company is doing I don’t like to wait for the internal communication team to post filtered information on the intranet.
I also like to learn with my colleagues, share ideas and ask for help.
But who am I going to talk to, share things with, learn from or ask for help, if my only tool is Outlook and the Global Outlook Address Book?; Even the global employee list on the intranet is very often out of date.
That’s why the enterprise collaboration software makes perfect sense. It fosters employee discovery, learning, self-development, a sense of community and finally offers you the opportunity to share an idea with the relevant stakeholders.
The human resources and hiring managers can now look inside the corporate cellular system and discover the hidden talents within the organization.
Project Teams struggling with time and lack of knowledge can search for colleagues, around the world, to help them in many different fields of expertise. Some employees may have brilliant personal brands in the digital world and could help the organization to pass on certain messages without having to spend money on communication and PR.
This may sound like all roses and sunshine… That’s not true.
Collaboration tools can be complex systems, but these are not different from those used in the world of social interaction.
Enjoy the “collaboration flight” and talk with a colleague seated in an office somewhere around the world. Maybe this is the opportunity to start learning a new language.
By Antonio Santos