Archive for the ‘Social Software Adoption’ category

How to Lay the Groundwork for your Social Business Rollout

March 14th, 2011

Using the Japanese practice of Nemawashi to “go around the roots” of your enterprise

You must prepare for your Social Business Software (SBS) rollout with people at many levels of the org chart, whether you’re creating an employee community, a branded online community, or one that interacts primarily on mainstream social Web platforms. Jennifer Bouani, Director of Interactive Communications and intranet manager at Manheim, did just that, using an approach similar to the Japanese practice of Nemawashi.

Nemawashi (根回し) in Japanese means an informal process of quietly laying the foundation for some proposed change or project, by talking to the people concerned, gathering support and feedback, and so forth. It is considered an important element in any major change, before any formal steps are taken, and successful nemawashi enables changes to be carried out with the consent of all sides.

~ Wikipedia

But, to do this, you have to be connected well enough to get your SBS message delivered to the people concerned. (The irony of this doesn’t escape me.)

Here are questions that Jennifer likely answered when creating her Nemawashi-inspired communication plan.

  1. Who do I need to convince? Why?

    Example: The Director of Product Management, because her team needs to answer questions posted in the community by Sales and Service employees, prospects and customers. If they don’t answer them in a timely manner, we won’t meet one of our SBS objectives. And she must support – even reward – their efforts to do so.

  2. What will SBS do for them or their team? What business processes or problems could it replace, reduce, improve, or newly enable?

    Example: Product engineers and marketing managers can replace the many repeated questions they get via one-off emails, instant messages, and phone calls by spending that time instead answering the question once in the appropriate community. This will propagate their knowledge to more people with less effort. It will free up more time to deliver on the product management team’s overall business objectives.

  3. How do I get my message to them in a way that they’ll actually listen?

    Example: Our executive IT sponsor will ask the VP of Product Management for 15 minutes of their next weekly department call. He will briefly explain our overall SBS objectives, then I will describe why it’s important for the PM team to participate, what benefit they’ll get out of it, and what we need from the managers in order for this to work. I’ll share our rollout timeline for their group, and where they can get more information.

Do this for each key group that is critical to your initial SBS success.

“What’s In It For Me?”

February 8th, 2011

Part of the buzz among social business practitioners for the past few months has included WIIFM, or What’s In It For Me. Basically, we’ve been discussing how to get people to use social business software, how to show them WIIFM when launching a new community or trying to revitalize one.

Check out what Jem Janik from Alcatel-Lucent (Jive customer and 2.0 Adoption Council member), created in the Jive Community. Other Jive customers and Council members are updating it, too.

What’s In It For Me (WIIFM)

Here are a few rows of the table:

Interest Individual Contributors Managers N-X Leaders
status/image of job Transparency of job Transparency of job
  • people want to know what your thoughts are, worries, etc. (evidenced eventually when you gain followership)
autonomy & influence
  • more i answer/share i build influence in community
  • i establish expertise by contributing
  • easier to reach a broad audience with content/message
  • easy way to reach a whole team & not clog up inbox
  • ability to reach a broad audience about what your org is doing and how it fits with overal company
  • if you are not participating you are forfeiting potential leadership on  the platform (other leaders for your area will form naturally
  • ability to reach a broad audience about what your org is doing and how it fits with overal company
  • if you are not participating you are forfeiting potential leadership on the platform (other leaders for your area will form naturally)

Practitioners know the things analysts and consultants don’t

August 3rd, 2010

Practitioners, analysts and consultants all play important roles when an emerging business practice is, well, emerging. But, if I had to choose who to listen to during these formative years, I’d choose practitioners.

People want to talk to others like them, who’ve successfully done whatever it is they’re trying to do.

Social business, my favorite emerging practice, is set to hit $3.1 billion in spending by 2014, just for social media marketing alone, forget about the $4.6 billion spending prediction that will enable Enterprise 2.0 social business behaviors. If your organization plans to participate in this evolution, you might want to learn from those who’ve been there, done that.

People like you, who’ve been there, done that

You have a chance to learn from and connect with these folks, who’ll be speaking at the only social business conference that features practitioners who’ve successfully engaged employees, customers, and the social Web.

Employee-Facing Social Business Practitioners

Photo of Tony Uphoff

Tony Uphoff
United Business Media TechWeb

Claire Flanagan
Director, Enterprise Social Business Collaboration and Communities Strategy

Photo of Ken Hamel
Ken Hamel
Senior Vice President of SAP Global Presales

Photo of Jennifer Bouani
Jennifer Bouani
Director of Interactive Communications

Photo of Len Devanna
Len Devanna
Director of Digital Strategy

Photo of Angelique Finan
Angelique Finan
Program Manager, Office of the CTO

Photo of Brad Fitzgerald
Brad Fitzgerald
Community Manager

Photo of Ted Hopton
Ted Hopton
Wiki Community Manager
United Business Media

Photo of Wolfgang Jastrowski
Wolfgang Jastrowski
Head of Unite Communications & Collaboration
Swiss Re

Photo of Greg Lowe
Greg Lowe
Social Media Strategist

Public-Facing Social Business Practitioners

Photo of Mark McKenna
Mark McKenna
Managing Director and Head of Marketing and Communications
Putnam Investments

Photo of Jennifer Hidding
Jennifer Hidding
Director of Interactive Channels
Lifetime Fitness

Photo of Mark Finnern
Mark Finnern
Chief Community Evangelist

Photo of Stephen Maiello
Stephen Maiello
Senior Manager
Charles Schwab

Photo of Dianne Kibbey
Dianne Kibbey
Global Head of Communities, Portals, and eProcurement
Premier Farnell

Photo of Trisha Liu
Trisha Liu
Enterprise Community Manager

Photo of Scott Palmer
Scott Palmer
Worldwide Channel Web Strategy

Photo of Greg Sanders
Greg Sanders
Director, Global Online Services

Photo of Deirdre Walsh
Deirdre Walsh
Community & Social Media Manager
National Instruments

JiveWorld10 Conference Agenda | Register today

The benefits of implementing a community advocate program

July 29th, 2010

I’m in the midst of moving beyond soft launch of our one-month-old advocate program for the Jive Community, called Jive Champions. One benefit to such programs is that these members routinely share their thought leadership, expertise, and guidance within and beyond the community.

Here are just a few gems the Jive Champions have shared since we started the program.

By Jamie Pappas, Social Media Strategist, EMC

By Greg Lowe, Social Media Strategist, Alcatel-Lucent

Discussion with Claire Flanagan, Director KM and Enterprise Social Business Collaboration and Communities Strategy, CSC

By Roy Wilsker, Senior Director Technology Planning, Covidien

By Tracy Maurer, System Engineer, United Business Media

By Ted Hopton, Community Manager, United Business Media

By Jennifer Bouoni, Director Interactive Communications, Manheim

The Jive Community has so many more excellent contributors, too! A few of them should expect an email from me soon, inviting them to join the Jive Champions. 😉

My Burton Group Catalyst Presentation

July 6th, 2010

I’ll be presenting the following at Burton Group Catalyst Conference in San Diego July 28 at 9:45 am Pacific, in Sapphire M room:

Design, for Community’s Sake! (Note: I specialize in lame titles.)


No matter whether you’re implementing an online community environment for employees, contractors, business-to-business, channels, partners, prospects, customers, or all of the above, design it differently than your typical intranet, internet, or portal websites. Why? To promote continual engagement.

In this session, you’ll learn five good practices for designing an engaging community site: 1) Identify Community Characteristics, 2) Determine Member Wants, 3) Balance Corporate and Member Content, 4) Express Site Identity, and 5) Add Concierge Services.

You also learn how to avoid common pitfalls, including one-way broadcasting, over-branding, under-positioning with other applications and websites, and more.

Finally, we will discuss how to check the health of your existing community’s design. We will take requests from the audience to review existing community sites that are publicly accessible, and answer questions, such as: Is the site’s identity expressed clearly and does it reflect overall community objectives, characteristics, and its members’ wants and needs? Is there a good balance between company and member content?

While this is based on the Jive SBS Design Practices series, it applies to any community or collaborative platform, so if you’re at the conference, please stop by!

Win a free half-day workshop with me!

June 24th, 2010

Even though I’ve moved into a new role at Jive Software, I’m still providing consulting services to a few customers.

If you sign up for the Jive SBS Leadership Roundtable webcast with YUM!, Intel, and Forrester, you could win a half-day workshop with me. I promise it’ll be engaging, useful, and most importantly, actionable.

Here’s the blurb:

One webcast attendee will be selected to win a free half-day strategy workshop with Gia Lyons. Gia recently left Jive Strategy Consulting, where she advised some of Jive’s most successful customers, including CSC and Alcatel-Lucent, to become the Jive Communities Program Manager. But, she continues to provide consulting services to select prospects and customers. She will help apply Jive’s proven methodology and experience from our veteran Strategic Consulting services team — implementing a social strategy is much more than just choosing the right software. Whether it’s developing a business case for your community, mapping out your community’s strategy, or implementing new tactics for growth, Gia will help bring your social business initiative to life.

CSC‘s rate of adoption between their May 18, 2009 full launch date and June 15, 2010 was about 4,000 employees per month, out of approximately 95,000 employees. Claire Flanagan (@cflanagan), Director Enterprise Social Collaboration at CSC, shared in June that C3, CSC’s employee community powered by Jive SBS, was at 50,000 active users. Read how CSC implemented the plan they developed based on their Jive Strategy Consulting session.

Alcatel-Lucent‘s rate of adoption since their mid-April 2010 full launch of Engage, powered by Jive SBS, is at around 5,000 employees per month, according to Greg Lowe (@Greg2dot0), Social Media Strategist at Alcatel-Lucent.

I’ve also worked with several national and global health care organizations, as well as clients in retail, manufacturing, and consumer goods, for both employee and customer-facing communities.

Here are a couple of topics we cover in our sessions:

Jive SBS Design Practices, Part 4

March 11th, 2010

The following is a result of Jive Strategic Consulting Practice’s extensive work with many large clients who have deployed Jive Social Business Software. It is Part 4 of a four-part series.

In Part 1, we explained how to use Barry’s Community Flower to determine the top three characteristics of your community.

In Part 2, we discussed the importance of identifying community members’ wants.

In Part 3, we added the characteristics to the member wants to define your community’s overall expression. Now, we’ll determine members’ activity flow through your site.

“What happens when I click that?”

Once you’ve got your first landing page designed – by the way, you should do this entire process for every important landing page throughout your community site (e.g., All Content, Your View, major spaces) – it’s time to figure out where the member is taken when they start clicking around.

It helps if you’ve used Jive SBS as an end user before you do this.

How much concierge service do members need?

First, determine the level of concierge service your community’s design needs to offer. If you’ve ever stayed at a hotel with concierge services, you’ll know what I’m talking about. These patient people help you get tickets to the theater. They walk you to the corner, and point down the street you should take. In some cases, I’ve had to ask them where the hell the elevators are. In short, they hold their guests’ hands whenever necessary.

Your design’s concierge service level should be based on members’ overall familiarity with online community and/or social networking concepts, not to mention basic technical savvy.

For example, if you’re migrating an existing community to Jive SBS, members are already familiar with online community concepts, and won’t need very much holding of their hands. But, if you’re unleashing all this social business software goodness on what one of my clients calls “the crusties” – more traditional people with vasts amounts of experience, but new to community concepts – you’ll want to ratchet up the level of concierge service.

If it helps, score your members for the following attributes. The lower the overall attribute score, the more hand-holding you need to design.

* Use Forrester’s Social Technology Profile Tool to take a wild stab at this attribute.

In my personal consulting experience, I’ve found that many have little patience for learning any new technology, especially if participation is voluntary, as so many online communities are.

If it’s not obvious in five seconds or less what they’re supposed to do and how it’s going to make their work/life easier, they leave.

How to map activity flow

1:  Identify the call to action(s) that expresses your primary characteristic.

For example, for Relationships, a call to action might be “Introduce Yourself.”

2:  Decide what happens when a member clicks the call to action.

For a savvy audience, “Introduce Yourself” might take the member to the current month’s discussion thread that asks people to introduce themselves. The member would read the thread, then click Reply to add his/her introductory comment.

For a newbie audience, “Introduce Yourself” might take the member to a space that functions as a lobby.

  • Purpose: space name is “All about Profiles”
  • Call to Action: “Complete your Profile” link that opens the member’s profile in edit mode
  • Motivation: description of the benefits of business networking and how it relates to better individual performance
  • Example: a member’s profile is featured; profile guidelines are explained; link that opens help content about how to complete a profile

3:  Decide what the member’s next step is.

Continuing the newbie route, let’s say the member clicks the link to view help information about how to complete their profile. Make sure there is a link in that content that opens their profile in edit mode.

In short, ensure that the activity flow results in the member completing the call to action.

4:  Decide how the member gets to the next call to action.

Now, how do you get the member to answer the second call, or at least give them the opportunity to do so? This is why I’m a fan of adding the top two to four calls to action in the theme. That way, no matter what nether regions of the community a member finds himself in, he can always click “Collaborate” in the theme, for example. This might take him to a lobby-type space (e.g., “About Groups”), where he can answer the Collaboration call, understand why he should do so, and see how it’s done.

You could also be a bit more obvious by creating a custom widget named, “I want to…” that’s full of verby phrases voiced from the member’s point of view. If you get a developer to create this as a plugin, the widget would be available everywhere a widget can be placed. If you don’t, just create it as a Jive document somewhere, then use the View Document widget to refer to it wherever you want.

What else?

Test it. Be that newbie. Imagine yourself in their shoes. Or, call my mom and ask if she can test it. If she can figure it out, chances are your members will, too.

Well, I hope this helps all y’all. And for those of you who have a Jive strategy session in your future, consider all of this homework.

Call to action

It would be ironic if I didn’t include one.

If you’re interested in engaging Jive Strategic Consulting, please contact your Jive Sales Executive or Services Account Manager, or contact Jive Software to learn more.

Jive SBS Design Practices, Part 3

March 10th, 2010

The following is a result of Jive Strategic Consulting Practice’s extensive work with many large clients who have deployed Jive Social Business Software. It is Part 3 of a four-part series.

In Part 1, we explained how to use Barry’s Community Flower to determine the top three characteristics of your community.

In Part 2, we discussed the importance of identifying community members’ wants.

Express it!

Now that you have your top three characteristics identified in Part 1, and list of member wants from Part 2, let’s put them together to create your community’s overall expression. Once you do this, you’ll have successfully defined the boundaries of your community design!

Define the following elements:

  • Purpose: “What’s this site all about in two seconds or less? Because that’s how much time you have my attention before I split.”
  • Calls to Action: “OK, I’m here. What do you want me to do? Use clickable verbs to make it obvious.”
  • Motivation:  “What’s in it for me if I answer your calls to action? Is it what I want?”
  • Example: “What behavior do you want me to model? Give me an example.”

This example of expressive elements is based on the top three characteristics of Relationships, Sharing, and Groups. It is for a public community.

How do you design Jive SBS based on all of this?

Finally, we start talking about the technology.

Expression elements can help you decide the following:



Your community’s Top Three Characteristics, member wants, and expressive elements can make it easier to design your site’s overall identity, and keep the design scope from creeping out of control.

If it doesn’t fit with your characteristics, member wants, or expressive elements, it doesn’t belong in your community.

What’s next?

In part 4, we’ll discuss how to map all this design goodness to Jive SBS capabilities.

Jive SBS Design Practices, Part 2

March 9th, 2010

The following is a result of Jive Strategic Consulting Practice’s extensive work with many large clients who have deployed Jive Social Business Software. It is Part 2 of a four-part series.

In Part 1, we explained how to use Barry’s Community Flower to determine the top three characteristics of your community. Next, we determine your community members’ wants.

“I want to…”

People often forget to identify the needs/wants/objectives of their community’s members. Not doing so results in yet another cold, lifeless website instead of a potentially thriving community.

For an example of how to avoid this, see this reference to Groundswell‘s case study about Proctor & Gamble’s BeingGirl site, in which the authors describe how P&G created a community to enable teenage girls to talk about teenage girl things, rather than tampons and menstrual pads – oh, I’m sorry, um, “feminine hygiene products” – can’t forget to sanitize biology for mass consumption, ha ha! I digress. Where was I?


To be thorough, you may want to do this next exercise for every persona that will interact in your community, but for simplicity’s sake, let’s just lump them all together for now.

If you’re designing primarily an employee community, think about what your fellow colleagues want to get out of it, keeping the Top Three Characteristics identified in Part 1 in mind. If you’re designing primarily a public community, think about what members – both customers/partners/prospects/developers and employees – want to get out of it.

BIG HINT: “What will members get in my community that they can’t get anywhere else?”

Here are examples for an employee community:

  • Find across all of ACME people who can help me get my work done (Relationships)
  • Tap into ACME’s broad collective experience to help me be more innovative in my work (Groups)
  • Give back – help others I may not know yet get work done (Sharing)

And for a public community:

  • Find education and marketing information that will help me sell more of ACME’s products (Content)
  • Build relationships with other ACME customers (Relationships)
  • Learn from ACME’s customers about what it’s like to be an ACME customer (Conversations)
  • Find what others are doing with ACME solutions and services (Sharing)
  • Tap in to ACME’s expertise (Groups)
But, they can get this somewhere else!

Especially in the case of employee communities, the “I want to…” examples above are seemingly already satisfied by existing collaboration and networking applications. I’m not going to get into the colossal chasm that all too frequently exists between what the business really wants and what IT forces them to use, but I’ll just pull a Dr. Phil here and say, “How’s that workin’ for ya?”

Usability – and all-employee access – matters. But, that’s a whole other blog post.

As for public communities, probably the top reasons potential members will participate – what they can’t get anywhere else – are access to your company’s “official” information and more importantly, your employees. However, if your people are already interacting with your customers/prospects/partners on third-party message boards or in Facebook or LinkedIn groups or Twitter or whatever, you’ll obviously need to entice those employees to stop doing that as much there, and start doing it in your community more (assuming this jibes with one of your top three characteristics).

Then, all those other social media interactions become engagement channels where employees can drive participation to your new community.

Now what?

Stay tuned for Part 3, where we’ll add the top three characteristics to these member wants to figure out how to design your Jive SBS community.

Jive SBS Design Practices, Part 1

March 8th, 2010

The following is a result of Jive Strategic Consulting Practice’s extensive work with many large clients who have deployed Jive Social Business Software. It is Part 1 of a four-part series.

It’s not about you, Corporate MarComm. It’s about we.

It’s not just another website, and yet many approach the design of their community site the same way they approached their intranet or corporate Internet site.

Which are usually all about one-way communication and passive consumption.

To avoid doing this with your community’s design, try using what we here at Jive call, “Barry’s Community Flower” to figure out what your community is all about. This thing actually grew (ha ha!) from Gene Smith’s Social Software Building Blocks (which grew from a few other frameworks), but we like to name our stuff after the peeps who bring it to our frontal lobes.

What do the petals mean?

Can you identify what the main characteristic is?

To spark your thinking, check out these communities, powered by Jive SBS.  See if you can figure out what the main characteristic is.

Identify your community’s top three characteristics

Now, pick the petal that best reflects what it is you’re trying to accomplish with your community, based on:

  1. Corporate objectives“ACME Inc. needs to get abc from the community”; and
  2. Member objectives“I really don’t care what YOU need, ACME Inc., but I want to do xyz here.” (more on this in Part 2)
How to pick your petals
  1. A facilitator draws the flower on a whiteboard/flipchart/napkin/back of her hand.
  2. Everybody gets to pick JUST ONE petal, silently. Shh.
    Note 1:
    It’s not like people are going to do ONLY that one thing, so don’t get your panties in a wad. They’re all relevant, but one has to be primary if you want an elegantly designed site.
    Note 2:
    Don’t think too much about the differences between these characteristics, as they will quickly all seem to mean the same thing, or overlap so much that you cannot make a choice.
  3. The facilitator goes around the room, asking for each person’s vote – she places a mark next to each petal that receives one.
  4. Usually, one petal will emerge as the primary community characteristic, and the next two petals that received the most votes become the two secondary ones.

Voila! You have determined the primary and two secondary characteristics of your community! Yay!

Now what?

First, make sure that your characteristics are in line with the community’s overall objectives. For example, talk/hug it out re: how “Relationships” will help meet the company’s objectives of “Driving Growth” – and make sure somebody is either taking notes or recording your conversation. Gold often emerges here.

If you simply cannot find a connection between the characteristics you’ve chosen and the objectives of your community, stick a tack in that discussion, and stay tuned for Part 2 in this series.