We've got 20 members in the community now, and I hope we can start a little bit of discussion to help get to know each other and to help new members too. So here goes:
What is the first thing that someone new to social capital should do to make a difference to the connections and relationships within their organisation?
Do i get a bonus point for being the first person to answer?
I think the most important thing is to quickly reduce it from an abstract concept into a concrete business impacting issue or risk. Having pitched Social Capital technology for several years, we have learned that unless there is a critical business problem that impacts someone's performance, bonus or revenue, its very hard to get funds allocated to study or observe something like Social Capital.
As soon as its impact on sales performance, high potential identification or diversity and inclusion is identified, then funds/humans/time get allocated to it!!!
I have a similar experience but I am unsure that the root for this is in the relationship of SC to performance, productivity, innovation... It seems that most understand the network and people's position have an impact for the organization and the people themselves but - they want a set of best practices. This means I hear something like this - "ok, so SC will affect all these great outcomes. But what are the best practices for building and leveraging SC?"
So I can give some examples and then talk about how the practices should be derived from the data (ONA + context), but for me at least, this is where people feel this is too abstract..
Does that make sense?
Hi Michal, yes, it makes sense to, and also resonates for, me (at least). Is there a common factor between your and Greg's responses which is that people are basically lazy? I don't mean this disrespectfully, but there's plenty of evidence from neuroscience and behavioural economics that we are. So we tend to focus on things which are intangible, like the end benefits, rather than the real outcome (the social capital). And also we want a magic bullet - one set of best practices, rather than a specific best fit approach, that we have to work out ourselves. For both of these reasons, I think getting people to focus on social capital, rather than just implementing an enterprise social network, or running an organisational network analysis, etc, is quite hard. However, from my perspective at least, it's also really important that we do, as that's how we create, rather than just add value from all of this. I'll explain in a post here later on today.
Hey Jon, it is interesting that you thought of laziness and it is a very reasonable hypothesis. I was thinking about SC still being an unknown area for most. While social capital is an old concept and network analytics have been around for a while, they are not common in the general population yet. When I talk about social capital, for the most part, I need to explain what I am talking about, and the same is true for ONA. If people don't fully understand what social capital is - they will not invest in it. I do feel the change of winds thou as compared to even three years back.