Dennis D. McDonald ( consults from Alexandria Virginia. His services include writing & research, proposal development, and project management.

By Dennis D. McDonald

The best podcasts I’ve heard recently on enterprise adoption of social media are two interviews with Toby Redshaw of Motorola by Dan Bricklin. One is from March of 2006 and the other from March 2007.

Redshaw discusses the extensive use being made by Motorola worldwide of blogging, wiki, and forum technologies. Some key points that I’ve picked up for use in my own consulting are:

  • Importance of “viral” promotion (i.e., no drumbeating from top executives — let the users progress on their own).
  • Importance of making infrastructure available throughout the organization as a standard set of tools.
  • Ability of social media to make up for some of the natural limitations of large meetings (e.g., less outspoken people tend to do less well in open meeting settings and may not have the same disincentives to participate when using social media).
  • Natural emergence of experts.
  • Recognition that knowledge management and knowledge sharing are critical to innovation.
  • Recognition that creative people are what differentiates one company from another given the comparability of physical and financial assets among competitors.
  • Need to occasionally prune and archive inactive material in order to to keep things “fresh.”

These are both worth the time to listen. Bricklin is  a good interviewer and Redshaw is very articulate. The emphasis on what is actually happening in a large corporate setting  is a welcome change from sales pitches and evangelism.

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