Thursday, August 15, 2013

Beyond Collaboration - Empowerment

Product managers of social collaboration products talk about improving productivity and enabling relationships. However they rarely talk about the role a social collaboration tool can play in empowering employees. Social collaboration tools have the power to bring out the inner entrepreneur in every employee.

When a social collaboration tool such as SAP Jam is deployed in an organization, it provides employees with a platform to showcase their work to a set of audience that cares about their work.  When my colleagues started using SAP Jam I suggested that they all treat their product pages like their store front. Many of them did so with enthusiasm. They got to display their wares. They found out who is visiting their pages. They got feedback about their work from those who actually cared about their work. They understood the popularity of their work or the lack thereof. Their internal customers started finding them directly and reaching out to them. Then I noticed something interesting. Those who took advantage of SAP Jam had better visibility within the company and got better projects and job opportunities within the company.

José Villegas Cordero - The Slipper Merchant 
Even though it is not the stated intention, technologies play an important role in disrupting status quo and bringing about positive change. Mobile phones did that to fishermen in India by cutting out middlemen. iTunes did that to music. Netflix is doing that to television. Craig's List did that to classified Ads. Amazon did that to Borders. The casuality of SAP Jam and other collaboration tools, in my opinion, will be the corporate middle manager. If your only expertise is supervising people, you should be scared. Very scared.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...