So you want your organisation to go social?

Oiling the wheels of change - internal change agent

Can I make an educated guess? You have discovered Yammer, Jive or some other enterprise social network tool and think it’s great, but the rest of the organisation is slow to warm to it. Or worse: they think it’s a complete waste of time. If you are lucky your senior managers like the idea of an internal social network, but they do little to help it to become the default communication channel. If any of those sentences resonate with you, you’ve come to the right place.

There is a growing movement of individuals who want to make their workplaces more collaborative, but who don’t necessarily have the authority or resources to drive a massive change management initiative (and believe me, introducing a new way of communicating and collaborating is a proper change management initiative). Your job title might have the words internal communications or HR. But it’s just as likely that you work in IT, marketing or some other department in a large or medium sized organisation. Your job title doesn’t really matter. What does matter is that you’ve realised how useful an internal social network can be and you want your colleagues and senior management to understand this, too.

Business Goes Social is a website and a newsletter for people like you (I was tempted to name it The Society for the Advancement of Social and Collaborative Technologies Inside Hierarchical Organisations, but thought short and snappy trumps jokey titles). My aim is to help you in your noble mission to make your organisation more social. I offer practical advice and tried and tested  tools so you can avoid the most common mistakes and learn from others. The advice will be a cross between strategic and MacGyveresque*. When you are not a senior executive you need to be smart on how to initiate and drive change internally.

In the future I would like Business Goes Social to develop into a community of like minded individuals. But for the time being the newsletter is probably the best way for you to participate. Through the newsletter I will ask you questions and feedback and based on your responses I will develop content and products that are customised to Your needs.

Most of the content is applicable to most ESN tools out there (Yammer, Jive, Chatter etc) but there will also tips and advice specific to particular social collaboration platforms.

Couple of words about me

Virpi OinonenI’m an enterprise social consultant who has a background in online campaigning and mobilisation (Greenpeace and other nonprofits) and communications in general – including journalism, online marketing and, believe it or not, cartooning.

Couple of years ago my job description at my previous organisation changed to include internal communications. As an online mobilisation expert I decided to introduce an enterprise social network (Yammer). Rolling out an internal social network was such an interesting (and at times frustrating) experience that I decided to become an enterprise social consultant. My focus is on facilitating change from the bottom up (the intrapreneurial approach to internal social networks), and I enjoy both tactical and strategic levels of enterprise social adoption and usage. For bigger consultancy projects I team up with the lovely gentlemen from Betterworking Ltd.

When I’m not thinking about social networks and the changing nature of work I run a visual storytelling company called Business illustrator.

I’m originally from Finland (in case you were wondering where the name comes from), but I now live and work mainly in London, UK.

Twitter: @voinonen

PS. Want to learn more about me and why I set up this website and wrote a book on enterprise social networks? Check out my blog post on the topic.


*For those not familiar with the 80s American TV series: MacGyver was a TV character who was inventive in a very practical way: he used a hair pin to kickstart a motorcycle or a toothbrush to generate electricity – you get the picture.

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