Making the case for social software

Posted on: September 30, 2010

I want communities, conversations and all the other clue-train-manifesto-stuff. Do you understand or do I have to fire you?

As a digital strategist one is frequently in the position of trying to influence and convince stakeholders that they need social software… and the last couple of days have made me ponder the best ways to approach this. The Harvard Business Review has just published an excellent piece on that very challenge – focusing upon how you can break the benefits of technology like Swiftly (facilitating a pull versus a push business / media model) into tangible ROI by focusing upon three ‘pull’ levels: from Access to Attract to Achieve. John Hagel III (is that really his name?!) and John Seely Brown describe these thus:

  1. 1. Access: the ability to find, learn about, and connect with the right people, information, and other resources.
  2. 2. Attract: about drawing out relevant people and resources, even those we are not even aware of needing.
  3. 3. Achieve: reaching our full potential, as individuals and as institutions… by using the first two levels of pull to drive more rapid learning and sustained performance improvement. Companies won’t be able to achieve sustained and extreme performance just by connecting workers to resources more efficiently in one-off situations. The real value comes when the one-off interactions develop into relationships and the relationships begin to facilitate sustained collaboration. Individuals and companies achieve their potential when they can tap into and create tacit knowledge through long-term collaborative relationships.
  4. Read The Enterprise Value of Social Software

Cartoon by Geek and Poke


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