Town hall meetings are still commonplace in the US Northeast where I grew up. And for more than 200 years, Town Meeting Day in Vermont has been a tradition. People in the community get together in historic buildings to discuss issues, make decisions, and address collective problems. It is one way the community stays informed and connected. These traditions work for annual planning and budgeting but not necessarily for everyday work. They are not frequent enough to handle constantly changing conditions and situations. Physical colocation isn’t feasible in our globalized, networked world. And it’s difficult to ensure that everyone is heard when the loudest, most opinionated personalities dominate conversations.
There is a social aspect of these annual get-togethers that strengthen bonds and bring people together. The social aspects have helped to establish trust and rapport for generations. And with these strong relationships, people are able to tackle tough problems effectively. We should not lose sight of these factors and how they can improve working conditions and worker productivity. We are in the midst of a Social Revolution that allows us to be human in a digital world and experience the same types of interactions as if we were face-to-face with someone. We’re reimagining communications and this is good for society because we’re getting back to the basics of community and human interactions.
Getting to business value faster with proven solutions
Social technologies are transformative in their approach when used well. We’ve learned over years that in order to get to business value, you need to focus on transforming, reengineering, and improving business processes for your people. The social workplace is the place where real work gets done. Don’t be fooled, we are not creating Facebook for the enterprise. Sure there are some common elements like an online profile, microblogging console, and great ways to share links and photos. But instead of connecting socially with friends and family, we’re enabling people to work better, differently – and they are having fun while they do it.