McKinsey Report: Social technologies could raise productivity by 20-25%

Guess what ? Email is not really efficient for knowledge management, information sharing and collaboration. Surprising, hum ? Well that’s nothing new for most people collaborating in online communities using blogs, wikis, social networks even though most companies use some kind of social technologies “in some way”, real collaboration is still Terra incognita.

So this report from McKinsey comes handy to convince businesses they really need to change the way they work. In their estimates interaction workers productivity could improve by 20-25%.

Excerpts:

While 72 percent of companies use social technologies in some way, very few are anywhere near to achieving the full potential benefit. In fact, the most powerful applications of social technologies in the global economy are largely untapped. Companies will go on developing ways to reach consumers through social technologies and gathering insights for product development, marketing, and customer service. Yet the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) finds that twice as much potential value lies in using social tools to enhance communications, knowledge sharing, and collaboration within and across enterprises. MGI’s estimates suggest that by fully implementing social technologies, companies have an opportunity to raise the productivity of interaction workers—high-skill knowledge workers, including managers and professionals—by 20 to 25 percent.

But of course it’s not that easy, as the tools won’t instantaneously change years of habits. Entreprise 2.0 sounds cool but the biggest challenges remains cultural change:

To reap the full benefit of social technologies, organizations must transform their structures, processes, and cultures: they will need to become more open and nonhierarchical and to create a culture of trust. Ultimately, the power of social technologies hinges on the full and enthusiastic participation of employees who are not afraid to share their thoughts and trust that their contributions will be respected. Creating these conditions will be far more challenging than implementing the technologies themselves.

Wait for a next study from McKinsey before you talk to your boss about participative management and open innovation

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