My daughter loves to share. In fact, I have to teach her that it’s ok not to share at times. Eventually though, she’ll learn to share selectively, once some fifth-grade jerk steals her awesome idea for the science fair, or that jackass three cubes over throws her under the bus to take the blame for some farked up project.
Thus is the nature of humans.
We don’t really share at work
You’ve probably heard me say this before: We don’t really share, or more precisely, we don’t really collaborate. Instead, we assign tasks. “You go do this, and you over there, go do that. Upload your stuff in the Collaboration Thingy when you’re done.”
This is what real collaboration looks like: “I have an idea/problem/task. Here’s my rough draft of it – can you help me finish it?” Now, we only do real collaboration with – you guessed it – people we trust. I’ve diatribed about this before, but I’ve noticed something very interesting happening with my customers who have a non-collaborating culture.
Respect the trust
You want people to start using your social business environment (aka social networking/collaboration site), right? But, they don’t like sharing with “the world.” Yeah, that’s because of that jerk in the fifth grade. So, give them a place to dip their big toe, a spot to share with the people they trust today.
Give them an opportunity to replace all the email threads, IM chats, shared file drives, disconnected team spaces, and 6:00 am conference calls with Europe that they do today to co-create the stuff that the rest of you only see “when it’s done.”
When you give them a little corner of your social business piazza to privately share with the people they trust today, you’re introducing them to a single destination they can use across their entire Trust Spectrum.
The Trust Spectrum
I’ve seen this happen with a large US healthcare company, and a global sports apparel company, to name a few. They use Jive Clearspace to give their people a way to share across the entire spectrum.