Stephan Schillerwein c/o Xing Stephan Schillerwein c/o Linkedin

Recipe for Failure… the Senior Management Blog on the Intranet

Published January 29, 2010 by Stephan Schillerwein

I was just reading a not publicly available case study on how not to do it when it comes to internal CEO (or CxO) blogs. The case study is about a big company (that shall remain unnamed*) that failed in an effort to establish blogging for their senior management on the intranet. The goal: to promote open exchange in the organization.
Here’s the approach they took – I urge you not to try this out in your own organization:

  • Assume it will just work (after all, this is Web 2.0 stuff…)
  • Provide one blog for all the senior managers to use together (to ensure hampering of personal identification)
  • Allow anonymous commenting in an environment with negative and unconstructive potential
  • Don’t address the issues raised in critical comments (to ensure them reappearing again and again)
  • Don’t brief your senior managers on how to make use of this instrument
  • Tell them that it is okay for the communications department to write the postings in their stead (to ensure loss of spontaneity and authenticity)
  • Don’t change the programme if you see that it doesn’t work, but rather leave it on its own to die in silence (to ensure a good starting position if you ever think of giving it another try)

I think that the value that can be derived from bad practise in the field of Intranet 2.0 approaches is quite substantial. As obviously defective the points listed above might seem, they keep coming up in projects again and again. In a way they (or at least some of them) seem to reflect a kind of “natural behaviour” in organisations today. So, having examples that prove that it is not going to work this way will hopefully help ease some of the discussion we all lead when introducing Web 2.0 approaches in the enterprise.
*Disclosure: I have no financial involvement with the company this case is about and they are not a client of mine or the organizations that I represent

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