Social networking-Part 2 – Why oh Why???

In my blog 1, I poured out all the confusions and thoughts I had about ESN adoption. I boiled it down to two questions I would like to look into –

  1. Why ESNs are needed in Organizations?– Sure as HR I technically understand why but, I would like to explore the extent to which they can actually be useful in organizations.
  2. Reasons for peoples’ resistance in adapting ESNs

In the weeks which followed, through class activities and discussions I have come to understand the value of ESNs. In this day and age of technology, it is a platform which allows us to widen out network to break silos in organizations and increase the knowledge base through socialization. So both our professional and personal lives are benefitted.

Now, then if it is so wonderful then why are people resisting it? It is important to understand why individuals are not able to successfully adapt ESNs because after all organizations are made up of individuals. Individuals are the biggest and most unique asset to the organization. Therefore for successful ESN adaption there needs to be alignment between the organization and individuals who comprise the organization.

With all these concepts of networks and communities swarming around in my head, I had a mini technology experience myself last week which I would like to share. It is not related to ESNs but still helped me understand technology resistance.

Last week, I was reading the news on yahoo late in the night just before going to sleep. I saw a link to a health video. The heading caught my interest so, I started watching it. Short video it said. Four foods to avoid for better health was the topic. So, I said let’s see what they have to say. Short video my foot – I was thinking five minutes, it was more like 30 mini-session. They used all the stuff we learn about Duarte’s art of presenting – introduce the topic, make you the center of it all (Hero’s journey), create a sense of urgency as to why I should know this information NOW (call to adventure), introduce the expert by stating credentials etc.(the mentor), what people do now- which is wrong, and then somewhere in between all of this, tell what it is they set out to say i.e. the whole point of this forever video (the Big Idea). And the worst part, there is no way to fast forward or buffer it to the point you want. Grrrr……

As I was watching this video and my patience was dying quicker than the clock ticking away to midnight, I realized I was going through a bunch of emotions – the desire to know the words of wisdom that the video had to offer, the frustration of not being able to control the technology so I could just get what I wanted and move on, the fear and distrust as I was wondering – why did they create the video in a way that I HAVE to watch this 30 min video? Are they using machine learning or some hocus pocus to find out things about me, so that they can push ads, products, virus or even hack my system? TELL ME WHHHYYYYYY?

Now that I analyze this small experience I realize a few things need to happen for successful adaption of an ESN – it needs to be something I ‘desire’ (which is the pro of using it).  if I don’t have a personal desire for it then, a ‘need’ must be created and the ESN marketed as the solution for the need (which answers the question WHY). But, to move it from the back burner a sense of urgency/importance to use it NOW must be instigated (which answers the question WHEN and focuses on the con of not using it), I need some form of control so that I am not groping in the dark-  to know how to use it and how to benefit from it. Lastly I need to trust the source.

In my next blog we will get into the underlying reasons and talk about ways to address these issues.

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