Friday, May 4, 2012

Rules for the 95%

2012 is here and so are its predictions, doomsday prophecy and some old calender written on stone. Year 2011 was the year of the social media where the entire world came online. 700 million people on Facebook is just an indication of the world coming out of the hidden illusions.

However, as I have been repeatedly telling social media is not letting people talk about stuff online, people were always talking about stuff, Social Media is enabling the topic that people talk about take advantage of the conversation by changing the course and being part of it.

The year 2012 will see a new wave of Social Software and more rise in the terms of Enterprise 2.0 and collaborative software. There is a known factor that not all companies are open to become collaborative.

There are multiple mindset for that, humanity has evolved from being a individualistic society to being a collaborative one. When earlier everyone had the schematics for building a spear (stone age), now together we build Laptops, computers and other complicated devices. The inventor of the computer system does not know the minutes of the assembly line on which the computer is being manufactured. The skilled worker who handles the assembly line for various chip-set for the computer, may not know the end design of the machine he is building. In turn, he doesn't know (and doesn't care) about the maintenance of the assembly, for there is a separate guy for that.

As a CRM consultant, we may not know the end business of the client 100% but we know how to do develop the things for the end users. The Business users in turn know how to optimize their workforce and help the Customer on the product. So in a way we are collaborative organization in itself, however we still miss one part in collaboration.

Trust.

Organizations still believe in building on policies. The policies are crafted looking at 5% of the employees who are not aligned to the organization. HR department is specially paid to craft the iron hide policies in which any personal, external use of the organization resources is blocked. The 95% of the organization who are aligned to the company bear this with a smile for a while. Obviously there is a tolerance to this limit and productivity decreases. People do work only minimum, what they are expected to and do not put in their 150% in their job.

There are arguments on both ends, if Social Networks decreases productivity or increases. I believe in the later, for the simple trend in human being is, if there is some thing in access, we detest. If social networks are not blocked, very few people will actually use it regularly. (This is just theory, need to verify this.). But then what increases and decreases productivity argument has been going on since the industrial age. Earlier they had same arguments for water cooler, the telephone, minesweeper and solitaire and so on.

There needs to be a change management implemented in the way things work, just like we all work collaboratively to build things that no individual can building. Having a little faith in each other can help us generate ideas that no individual human can think of. The exponential rise of social network was not something very new or unexpected, it was the next logical step from the decreasing trust in each other.

The world is re-calibrating itself in the new-found wave of communication by going social. What the organizations need now is not some iron hide policies but a little trust and alignment in the employees. Employees are the the living workforce of the organization. Using social collaboration and a little faith, corporations can reach beyond what can be perceived.

Either that or wait for a social whiplash on the company.