Change Management Burn Out: When Social Doesn’t Work

In addition to the M&M barrier (misuse and mis-perception), a second barrier that prevents  social networks from adding real business value is change management burn out.

What Does Burn Out Look Like?

In this scenario, employee participation on internal social sites is actively encouraged, but when the change management barrier rears its ugly head it stops any momentum of business value dead in its tracks.  Employees have a lot of head knowledge about the “strategic importance” of internal social tools, but fail to actively use this knowledge to engage in any actions to use social tools.

The social tools at such companies may be chalked full of content that is at best very transactional in nature (think Web 1.0 organizational charts and dry department materials for down load).  In a worst case scenario, users may even refuse to use the tool at all because legacy file sharing platforms and email are sufficient for their current collaboration needs.

Where Does it Come From?

This change management burn out is typically in companies that have already cycled through numerous “revolutionary” collaboration tools.  In the end, veteran employees (who often hold the most valuable best practices and institutional knowledge in the company) largely opt out of actively using social tools.  They are highly skeptical of both the longevity and legitimate business value of social tools.

Community Question: What Can You Do?

Have you run into this “change management” burn out?  If so, how did you overcome it to add value for your business?