Wisdom from Dilbert: Clarify the Need 

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In this scene, Scott Adams, Creator of Dilbert, highlights a critical reality for successfully rolling out social tools within any company:  Clarify the Need

Never implement social tools without a clear understanding of the business needs they address.  The tools must address specific problems that are articulated and understood throughout the team – from the top down.  Though the need will likely evolve over time, it must be clearly communicated on an on-going basis.  Furthermore, it is critical that the core message of the need be couched in business terms and internalized by the senior most leader on the team and a core team of advocates spread throughout the team hierarchy.

For example, a relatively simple business need may be simplifying a team’s file sharing by leveraging a single platform where all team documents can be stored – whether files from an annual off-site meeting or weekly dashboard reports.  A more complex business need may be for 24/7 technical support for the new company employee recognition tool that can be partially addressed through moderated discussion forms embedded within a virtual community.

In short, our social tool roll outs don’t have to be stuck in Dilbert’s misery.  Start with the business need and build your team-wide promotion of the social tool accordingly.


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