We’ve all been hearing about the “consumerization of IT” for some time now and of course, we all agree with very knowledgeable people like Peter Hinssen that our homes are far better equipped with technology than our desk. As we do spend most of our active time at that desk, this works frustrating in some way. Understandable… . But if I look at what exactly we do in our high tech home, it seems most of our time is consumed by social technology. We open a mailbox, chat-box, Face-book-box, game-chat-box, red button vote box on TV … Lot’s of boxes that allow us to put a social layer over all we do. People are social individuals, no news in that. More and more, we are measured by our social relevance on the web and in the real world.
At work however, we are expected to be productive individuals with clear tasks and boundaries. We are expected to perform in our own world and afterwards report our score on the individual performance indicators that were appointed to our work world.
Clearly, this contradiction troubles many people, from managers to interns all from their own point of view.
The question is, how does an enterprise need to respond to this contradiction without knowing what the future of it will bring? How can you, as a manager change the way your company or department works in order to face the frustration of your people on the use and availability of technology.
Social networking, social media, don’t seem to be “core business applications”. Maybe they’re not, but in some time, they might become “obvious tools”. They might become a “commodity”. Think about the possibilities social network analysis creates for companies. The possibility to analyse the “knowledge map” of a department or the whole company. This will allow us to continuously evaluate and collaborate. It’s a bit like torrent networks. Sharing the best parts of knowledge from where they present themselves. Not loosing your time on non-relevant information seeds. It sounds almost insensible which in fact is a possible downside. But managing this in a constructive way can dramatically reduce employee frustration about the lack of means to access “social information”. Some call on “collaborative leadership” to manage this process. Let the peers co-manage the company they say. Well, I agree. But are these peers ready for this kind of commitment, engagement, responsibility? Good question… .