This post originally appeared on AIIM’s Enterprise 2.0 Community Blog.
Think about your Intranet for a moment (stop groaning) and answer the following questions. When was the last time:
- Someone spent their own money to purchase promotional items to help build awareness and get more people to participate?
- Someone voluntarily put the name of the Intranet on their softball team jerseys?
- Someone voluntarily created an entire instruction manual for new users?
- Dozens of people volunteered to be the welcoming committee for new users, greeting them and offering to help?
- Dozens of people took shifts to be online and act as an ad hoc help desk for other users?
- Someone voluntarily created PowerPoint presentations to help others better understand the Intranet?
- People routinely logged on at midnight just to see what they missed during the day?
- Regular users are routinely “pitched” by official internal communications staff to post content because they have a greater readership?
- People beg, beg! for access outside the firewall, and ask for easy mobile/remote access so they can read/contribute?
- People voluntarily create mashups and plug-ins to enhance the interface and then share those with other users?
All of these situations are ones that I’ve witnessed, either internally with Booz Allen’s hello.bah.com, our own implementation of Enterprise 2.0 tools, or with my clients. True, in many cases, Enterprise 2.0 communities have failed to build a critical mass of users, they can quickly become echo chambers, they don’t have full leadership support, and they often fail to make it “into the flow.” but despite (or maybe because of) these challenges, Enterprise 2.0 communities can ignite a passion among its users that hasn’t been seen internally since the introduction of the Internet.
If you stopped using the terms “social media,” and “Enterprise 2.0” and just started telling people that you “have some ideas for improving our Intranet that will make our employees want to log on at night to see what they missed and spend their own time writing code to improve it,” getting buy-in for these tools would be a no-brainer. Who wouldn’t want their employees to be this engaged with their Intranet?
So what is it about Enterprise 2.0 that gets users so excited? It’s because Enterprise 2.0 is about more than just disseminating information – it’s about giving each employee a voice; it’s about flattening the organization; it’s about ending approval chains; it’s about being a part of something new. But most of all, it’s about empowering people.
When was the last time your Intranet empowered anyone to do anything?