Sunday, May 1, 2011

Push or Pull: Change Management for Social Product Development

A colleague pointed me to the article „How to Encourage Staff Interaction Through Social Media“ in Daniel Gasparro, Executive Director and CIO, Howrey says „Encouraging collaboration, especially through social media, should be viewed as a change-management effort focused on the culture of your organization.”

I tended to think of the social computing as a nobrainer - with an almost iPad-like pull effect. In the context of change management, it is rather on the solution side of things than on the problem side. But the article certainly has a point: if the hierarchy isn't engaging in social computing and leading by example, the staff won't engage either - bad for collaboration...

On the other hand, I still believe in the pull-effect of social computing: people like to work with other people (rather than with “the computer”), i.e. the social component satisfies some basic needs. Being able to contribute to a community, to be recognized by your peers and to get your problems solved with the help of others is motivation enough.

Apply basic change management principles when introducing social product development methods. Management must engage and lead by example, early adopters should be rewarded and successes should be communicated broadly.

What are your experiences regarding push or pull when introducing social product development?

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