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How culture influences enterprise social media adoption -- Inmagic Year in Review 2009

Organizational culture is a major factor impacting adoption of social media in the enterprise. As we look back on 2009 for our Year in Review series, we found culture, as well as technology, are crucial components to a successful enterprise 2.0 strategy.

Chris Jones, Consulting Principal of SourcePOV, often sees culture as a barrier to entry preventing many organizations from implementing enterprise 2.0 strategies. He talked about it detail during our podcast with him in November, and in his presentation at one of our user groups in October. He emphasizes that a key to creating a successful E2.0 strategy is to have a culture that values collaboration.

E2.0 thought leader Andrew McAfee supported this notion in a KMWorld interview in September. He said, "I always look to the senior leadership to see if they are sincerely interested in helping people collaborate, capturing what the organization knows. Do they really realize that it is a serious challenge? If they do, then chances are much, much higher that they are going to be interested in these [social media] tools."

The importance of culture was also brought to light this year by an article from Dion Hinchcliffe of ZDNet. Dion wrote how it's surprisingly common to encounter a resistance to social technology in "organizations that have fewer competitive pressures, are highly specialized, or are unusually late adopters of technology."

This also speaks to the idea that E2.0 is not a one-size-fits-all initiative. It should be able to be adjusted, and fit within a given organization's structure, processes, and culture, so that it achieves that company's specific business objectives.

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