Today’s post comes to us from Frank Bradley. In this post, we want to highlight how this team was able to utilize social technologies and methods to get groups at Oracle to collaborate more efficiently and effectively together. Frank works for the Oracle EMEA Social Networking and Business Collaboration (SNBC) Team. The team was founded in late 2008 with the following vision
To create a socially connected Oracle where collaborative working across geographical locations, lines of business, and management chains is second nature, enabling innovative solutions to business challenges.
Our primary remit is to work with and support the EMEA organisation, however where there is bandwidth we also work closely with employees and teams from other regions. While we do provide some advice on social strategies outside of the company, we mostly focus on social strategies for improving communication and collaboration inside Oracle.
Our first task when the team was established was to get an understanding of the Social landscape in Oracle and in particular to become familiar with the wide variety of social tools available. We started documenting these tools with a view to having a resource that all employees could access. Our Social Tools library lists what we view as the most important social tools and gives our recommendations on what the advantages and disadvantages of each tool are.
In tandem, we started working with teams and individuals who were keen to adopt more social ways of working. Our biggest challenge was to introduce a change of mindset in order to get individuals and teams moving away from a tool centric approach. In our opinion a more strategic and business focused approach would serve better in the long run.
We are big fans of the POST Method (from Forrester) which outlines a systematic approach to social strategy. With POST the last thing you look at is the tools/technology. Before this you need to address the People, Objectives and Strategy issues. Over the years we have consistently referred to POST as the SNBC approved methodology for implementing a social strategy.
My current role in the SNBC team is to lead what we call our Social Leadership Adoption Model (SLAM) program. The SLAM program allows us to work with teams across the organisation to improve how they adopt and use Social. Any team interested in working with us needs to appoint at least one Change Agent (we refer to them as SNBC Leaders), who will then participate in the SLAM program.
SLAM is divided into two parts. Part 1, which we call Social Readiness, is all about education and consists of a series of remotely run webinars in which participants from multiple LOBs come together to learn about the Social Enterprise in an Oracle context. Upon successful completion of Part 1, participants move into Part 2, which we call the Social Maturity Phase. This starts with participants measuring their team's current stage of maturity, using our Social Maturity questionnaire. They then plan the steps they will take to get to the next stage of our Maturity scale and implement these plans. This process continues until they successfully reach the highest stage in our Maturity model.
Our program has been very well received and to date we have worked with 31 teams, which has enabled us to have an impact on just under 1100 employees in Oracle.
Looking to the future we are very excited about the direction of Social inside Oracle. The recent announcement of Oracle Social Network at Open World 2011 has raised the stakes and we have seen a noticeable increase in people reaching out to us in the ensuing months. Personally I’m looking forward to seeing how things map out in the coming months.
Frank Bradley is based in Ireland and works for the Oracle EMEA Social Networking & Business Collaboration (SNBC) Team. He has been with for Oracle for 10 years and has previously worked for the EMEA Knowledge Management team and the EMEA Customer Data Quality team.
You can find Frank on Twitter (@frankbradley), on LinkedIn and on Google+. He also blogs occasionally on Bloggertone and Workplace Prosperity. Things have been a bit quiet of late on these sites as he welcomed baby #2 into the family recently, but he hopes to resume normal activity as soon as he gets a few nights of regular sleep!!