When I “pitch” my company to relations and friends at social gatherings, I often get the question: “But what can you use it (social collaboration) for at work?” I thought it would be a good idea to blog about a couple of examples from my personal and our clients’ experiences.
Personally, I use our social network at work daily. What do I do with it?
1. I post questions for my teams
When I have an idea that I’d like to submit for brainstorming, or I have a question that I feel could benefit several people, I post it, usually in the relevant team space. Sometimes, a conversation emerges with several people answering and we take actions as a result. Sometimes, it just gets thrown “out there”, and I use it to find the idea later.
2. I monitor what my teams are doing
Any time someone from any of my teams uploads a report, answers one of my questions, starts a conversation, or pretty much does anything useful, I see it in my activity stream. And I can filter the stream view by team or project, so I can get a quick glance of each team’s work.
3. I communicate with the company
From time to time, I like communicating about the company’s successes internally (good financial results, for example), or publicly congratulate a team on an achievement. I do this by posting a message on our social intranet.
4. I launch projects and initiatives
This is not a daily activity, obviously. But whenever I need a group of people to do something over a length of time, I organize a digital workspace and invite relevant people from within the company and from outside. This is especially handy, as we are all in different locations across the globe. Also, I do not like being limited by geography when sourcing a helpful set of skills – one of our external content writers is located in South Africa, for example.
5. I source skills
I recently needed some security management input for one of our prospects. Being high in the hierarchy gives me the advantage that I can ping a senior colleague and burden them with it. But it is actually quicker (because of the different time zones) to search for someone with the right skill listed in their company profile and ping this person directly.
The above list is not meant to be exhaustive; it is a very personal list. One use that I left out, but that is relevant to a lot of our clients, is – networking. I don’t need to do this inside the company, as I do not need to work on my mobility or career advancement. However, I definitely should network more within our tribe!
All in all, I feel social collaboration is a great and modern way of working in teams and including people in the management thought processes.
What about you? Do you use social collaboration in your company? What system do you use to collaborate?