Yesterday evening, Oscar Berg wrote a great post about socializing business processes, giving four reasons why organizations should care about that. I've been working on a similar post for a few days so, as Oscar already said a lot, I'll just add one more reason :
Because employees (unconsciously) often want you to start with that.
One of the biggest changes brought by enterprise 2.0 is the ability for employees to identify each other, build communties where they could share their experience, solve problems and seamlessly improve their skills. Albeit that's really promising, reality looks quite different : in many cases, they don't know what a community is, how to behave in a community at work (even if they know in their personal lives) and how to tie their community activities to their day-to-day work.
So, for most of them, joining the community side of their organization is just like jumping in the dark, hoping that the landing won't hurt. Of course, some organizations (or is it a matter of culture) have the community-DNA in their blood, some people love trying and exploring. But they are too few to make things really change, what makes most successful achievements marginal even if actual.
But that's not because they fear the unknown that they will never change. Most of them are looking for a save and illuminated way to go to the community world, what often means "start with what they now and drive by sense".
What they know the most is day-to-day processes. They know what to do, what for, and with whom. That's what we can be called their comfort zone. Changing behaviors in such a zone looks more safe, painless and less exposing that making the big jump. But one day they'll discover that even if they share and interact more around their business process, they will still lack knowledge and information to make the right decision and solve problems faster. At this time, they'll be ready to go one step further and expose problems and share things with people they don't know, understanding how such behaviors can help them in their work.
For most employees, solving problems to achieve a task takes three steps, always in the same orders :
- try on one's own
- if not enough, ask colleagues (ie known people, strong ties) for help
- if still not enough, ask unknown people (ie community members, weak ties)
So the road between the current and future situation should follow these three steps to be as close as possible to the path that makes sense for most of employees.
And this path starts with business processes...
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