As a business, we are about to embark on our first foray into enterprise social technologies and I thought it might be useful for fellow new users to blog about our experience.
I don't know about anybody else, but when implementing a new instance, there is so much to think about and so much to work out and navigate, it would be nice to know someone else out there has been through the same things. Of course, we know we all go through the same things but by the time we're looking backwards, it all looks so straightforward we usually forget about the lessons along the way. So, here I am, sharing an 'as we go' experience.
My first observations are about the challenges and excitements of getting the concept off the ground.
When you're sitting there thinking "if only we had a way to do....." and then you realise there is a ready-made solution available to you, the excitement rises. Finally, that thing that annoys the gee-willikers out of me in my job will be a distant memory! Hoorah for technology! Now I'll be able to be more productive, more effective and look - there's all this other stuff it can do to! I can't wait to go out and get this thing! Sooooooo exciting.......!!!!!!! And then you hit your first internal roadblock (insert noisy deflation sound effect here).
I won't kid you, getting buy-in wasn't easy. Two years it has taken, to get approval for a limited trial. But I maintain it will be worth it. It will be worth testing the perception that our staff are not technologically enabled or inclined. It will be worth living with the fear that no one will see a use for it. It will be worth the sleepless nights over which use cases to focus on for maximum executive impact. It will be worth the feelings of uncertainty for all that time that you're not 100% sure how this thing works but you have faith that it does, and can for you too. It will be worth it. I know it will. I don't know how, but I know it will.
The thing that gives me the glimmer of hope, that feeds my kernel of faith is that in going through this process, I have found a tribe. I've found a bunch of people who upon first hearing say "hey, that's great! Could I use it for......? Hey, what if we also use it for........? What do you need me to do? Have you spoken to .........? They'd love this!" I've found an entire tribe of collaborators who will help me dispel the fears and perceptions and uncertainty and will make the sleepless nights worthwhile.
My first lesson is: find your tribe. Find as many people who get it as possible. They'll keep you going when the cynics surface by reminding you that you're not the only one. There are more of you out there who want to make it better. Who want to do more. Who want to work together. Who are committed to your field, your job, the business. You're not alone - find the others!