My goal as a social computing advocate has been to help IBM teams tap into collective power, and for the past three years on the IBM BlueIQ team, I've been able to do what I always did best: give people exactly what they needed. Whatever it took to get them online, be it enablement materials targeted to their tasks, browser plugin packages to on-board them faster, simplified interfaces, badges or video contests to motivate them, or a social calendar so they could migrate their event-heavy newsletters, I'd cook it up.
Listening to our users turned out to be one of the most important things we could do for adoption – hear their pain, listen to their fears, and respond with solutions. From the very beginning, we built a community of Ambassadors – early adopters representative of our broader audience who would share those pains and fears, and suggest answers. We gathered up their input, polished their ideas into solutions, and sent them out into the IBM community to share it. We had their buy-in because the problems we were solving were their problems; they were invested in the solutions and willed them to work. Your technology doesn't need to be perfect, rather, an enterprise bent on adopting new tools requires a culture open to building processes, education, and technical glue that will address employees' pains and fears.
I've been talking a bit about these solutions on my blog, but next week it's show time – Lotusphere 2012 is here and BlueIQ is gearing up for it. We'll be sharing with IBM's clients (and anyone else who's interested) how we approached social software adoption, lessons learned, and the business case for social tools, in case your leaders still needs convincing. Personally, I expect to spend plenty of time in the Innovation room talking with my friends from Research about social calendars.
We're also there to support our BlueIQ Ambassadors: Kathy Mandelstein is speaking at 3:30 on Monday on the Best Practices track and Chris Pepin is speaking at 11am on Monday on "The New Workplace: Unleashing The Power Of Enterprise Mobility." During the lunches, we help our Ambassadors network, we give their clients pro-bono advice, and we do everything we can to return the favor for their hard work advocating our goals.
I hope you'll find us at Lotusphere, you can either comment here or contact us directly if you'd like to meet up.