We’re talking about serious stuff. Office organization, HR policies, workplace environments or IT security policies.
Communities, networking, getting to know each other, agenda setting, viral content that spreads through the company and attracts users by itself – thats not so much a topic anymore.
I conducted a few interviews for an upcoming story in an austrian general interest/political magazine where I deliberately stepped back to the very basics. And this is what practitioners are talking about. – No more visions, fun, revolution?
Well, I think there is. But it is coming in waves and with the speed of a snail that is changing its colors like a chameleon.
A few of the major changes:
- When we’re talking about a networked enterprise, we’re not talking about digital networks only anymore. We’re also talking about architecture, working times and, most important, culture.
- We are also not talking about ROI that much anymore. At least – we shouldn’t. We don’t talk about ROI when we talk to journalists, customers or friends. And that’s what digital networks should be about – making friends. But still – ROI remains a trap, where many social media managers get cought in
- But we keep talking about purpose. Curiosity is not a driver anymore. Everybody does have some experience with social media, more and more do have experience with networks inside the company. We’ve tried it, but we will only keep using it, if it’s good for something.
- And a few effects, that are actually major changes, now go without saying: We don’t ask our manager to ask another persons manager if we want to talk to that person. We just talk – because we can make direct contact, and, in the best case, because we already know a little of what they really do and what they care about. Sounds strange? It does, but look back just a few years…
So it’s not about starting something up, gathering attention or creating disruption. That was important. But now, it just bores people, if it doesn’t serve a purpose – a useful one.
Why am I saying this? Because it makes a difference on how to approach enterprise 2.0-projects. – Find a purpose. Give your things meaning. And only then, be disruptive and entertaining…
What does it mean for digital architects and media creators? The media itself are not enough. Or, the other way round: Office organization, office architecture and company culture are more elements of media you have to consider. The finest user interfaces and the greatest user experience will not work, if they are not part of a bigger environment. And even if you only consider media in a narrower sense: It’s not only important to create your own stuff, but also to integrate it in existing architectures and communication flows. Inside companies, you have to build your own media (and networks – digital as well as human – that keep them alive), but on the outside owned media (that is your own websites, blogs or corporate movies) are just tools among others that you don’t control. Content strategy, content marketing are terms that have been labeled as buzzwords for nerds who feel the need to analyze and discuss everything – but this is where they are coming back…