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Successful Networks Require a Cross-Disciplinary Team

Posted on by Brandon Klein

It should come as no surprise that a one-dimensional approach to network “deployment” will yield lackluster results. In the heyday of the Enterprise 2.0 movement, it was largely IT that introduced social networks to the workforce. The mistake that many customers made in those early days was viewing social networks as a technology platform vs. an organizational catalyst for transformation. Even if the initial use cases were solid, and vendors provided initial on-ramp training, the true power of a connected workforce would not emerge. Social software is much more than the sum of its technical parts. In fact, you could argue the opposite is true. Organizations that took a multi-departmental approach to rolling out ESNs, have proven to be successful, are still growing, and have produced outsized returns to their organizations. English: A diagram of a .

Diagram of a Social Network. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Learning to work in a connected, flat, transparent, and highly collaborative manner invariably surfaces tensions that require intra-organizational re-thinking. They demand a new type of leadership.

Petty arguments that erupt over jurisdiction, approvals, roles, decision-making, authority, and budget allocation are exposed and rendered useless and highly unproductive when vibrant networks connect and share. It’s one of the reasons why rigorous command and control, hierarchical models can’t survive in a healthy, transparent and functionally strong social network.