Governance & Process, Guidance & How To, Social & Cooperation

Social governance, work in progress for all

…… Part of The Basics series. First published in December 2010 ……

I ran a workshop on “The social dimension of intranets: the challenge of governance and management”. The workshop participants were from organizations that were just starting social initiatives internally and companies where social media initiatives are already well-established. There was a blend of large and small organizations, and of public and private. The discussion was lively and we could have continued well into the afternoon.

Workshop learnings

At the end of the workshop, I asked the participants to share what had struck them the most during our half-day session. Here are the points they made. A few are  slightly re-worded by myself, and I have grouped into themes. Otherwise, they are exactly what people said.


  • Tap into the core values of the company and using that as a driver to develop a social media strategy.
  • Social media is slowly approaching the intranet; they should not be two separate worlds.
  • The various communication strategies must be joined up; there should be a clear, overall strategy including all the various elements.


  • It is important to the do the preparatory homework before launching SM initiatives.
  • Preparation includes close contact with the early movers / mavericks / incubators is important.
  • Measure and learn from them; use them right, don’t forget them.


  • Measure learnings and feed the outcomes into improving guidelines.
  • Measure interaction (e.g. number of comments, not number of blogs).
  • Soft versus hard benefits: the distinction is important when measuring – and they are both important.

User types

  • Remember to take into account the types of users and their different ways of approaching / utilizing social media
  • Should we define social roles like we do for the intranet? E.g. how do financial analysts work differently from R&D people, and how do their needs in social media features differ?

The potential of social media

  • Social media makes the invisible visible – or is capable of making it visible.
  • Social media used internally enables effective brand management.

Culture, the big open question

Will cultural differences impact adoption of social media? Will culture “eat” social media for breakfast? or will social media “eat” culture?

How will social media initiatives work in organization with employees around the world. Will the different cultures end up triggering social media silos?