startsmall2I was a the “working social tour” yesterday, a Microsoft event focusing on customer use of Yammer. It was great to hear the customer stories, they’ve all done well bringing social into their companies and I recognised a lot of the challenges. But my favourite slide of the day was this one, presented by Yammer co-founder and CTO Adam Pisoni.

Start Small

There’s a temptation to design and build a perfect solution and roll it out globally with a fancy big launch.

Don’t do it. Instead start small, find some willing candidates to try using your enterprise social network. Collect success and evaluate the business impact, use these stories to build support for further roll out.

I would urge companies to get the platform available for everyone as quickly as possible – you want people to be able to use it as soon as they’re ready – but the awareness and adoption steps can follow.

With Like-Minded Colleagues

Some colleagues will understand social business straight away , others will be neutral, and few will see nothing in it for them and resist the change.

Work with the ones who “get it”, you’ll get further. They’ll see the potential it brings to their work, and they’ll run with it, often building success cases in areas of the company that you’d never think of.

Those who don’t see how it works and struggle to see what’s in it for them aren’t ready to work with you – if you try you’ll spent a lot of time frustrated and make little progress.

On Projects that Matter

Look for uses that will generate genuine business value, such as;

  • improving service
  • reduced costs
  • innovation
  • supporting virtual project teams
  • leadership communication –

I like this simple mantra of how to bring social into a company; it’s not a “how to”, but it could be a useful check when working through all the challenges that come with driving change in an organisation’s culture

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