Enterprise Social Collaboration – Success Stories from McKinsey

In an article titled “Building a Social Enterprise” published in November 2013, Michael Chui, Martin Dewhurst, and Lindsay Pollak of McKinsey provide an outline of principles that should guide the implementation of social technologies within the enterprise along with brief case studies. Here are extracts from the article:

Add Value, Not Complexity: Social shouldn’t be distracting “extras”—they should be embedded into the day- to-day work flow. The MITRE Corporation identified an urgent need for employees to collaborate more easily with colleagues and external partners, it used open-source social-networking software to build and customize its own social platform, called Handshake. The platform is secure, invitation only, and integrated with MITRE’s collaboration- and knowledge-management tools, so staff can start using the tool and make it part of their daily work seamlessly.

Provide Essential Organizational Support: When Canadian financial-services company TD Bank Group launched an internal social-media network, using IBM’s Connections platform, for example, individuals were designated as “Connections Geniuses” to spur its adoption. This group helped colleagues learn how to use the platform and evangelized for its ability to improve day-to-day work, thus making the potential impact more relevant to individual users.

Experiment and Learn: The mantra “Think big, start small, show impact” guided TD’s social-platform launch for its 85,000 employees around the world. A small pilot program launched in 2011 allowed the company to manage technology risks and thoughtfully identify communities for the platform. As examples of success became clear, TD leveraged its Geniuses to help it scale up the effort. This process of testing, learning, and thoughtful growth was instrumental in expanding the platform, which now has thousands of communities, blogs, and wikis that help colleagues find relevant knowledge and skills quickly and easily.

Track impact and evolve metrics: The head of social media at global shipping company Maersk Line, Jonathan Wichmann, discovered some 14,000 images in its photographic archive during his first week at work. Recognizing an opportunity to share the company’s rich history and engage both employees and outsiders, Maersk Line launched a low-cost, experimental social-media campaign. No metrics were attached; at this stage, the company was unsure of what to measure.

After the initiative took off—it’s currently delivering more than 170,000 unique social interactions a month and has doubled the number of the company’s job applicants—appropriate metrics were developed. What began as an outward-facing effort is now driving performance internally: Maersk Line executives now seek to track social media’s impact on everything from persuading recruits that they should join the company to aiding innovation and the gathering of customer insights.

Here is a video from Cisco that will give you a good introduction to enterprise social collaboration. You can also check out my earlier post on this topic.

Srinivas Krishnaswamy


I love to read and share thoughts on technology, enterprise learning, mobile and any thing cool that impacts enterprises.

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Posted in Social Collaboration, Social Learning

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