Friday, October 19, 2007

Significance of Web 2.0 lessons from the BBC

Forrester in one of its recent blog posts discussed how the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) experimented successfully with social computing and adopted various Web 2.0 tools. Today, the BBC has thousands of bulletin board users, wiki users, and hundreds of bloggers. All these tools have added enormous value to the company; however, it was not an overnight success. Have a look at some of the key lessons the BBC learned from its Web.2.0 experiment:

Enterprise Web 2.0 tools can be the catalyst for a more collaborative work environment, and the BBC’s internal forums, one of the Web 2.0 tools, helped the company to be more collaborative than many formal initiatives they had tried in the past.
Experiment, start small, and clarity in ownership have been the mantras of success in a collaborative business environment, as Web 2.0 tools have transformed the traditional hierarchical and command and control structure and prepared the organization for flattening effect of these tools. As the forum environment was collectively owned, people took the responsibility for its sensible use.

Web 2.0 tools breed trust. “The BBC found that when people are given responsibility, right tools, and a little coaching, most of them will do the right thing”. Increasing use of social computing tools also let the people understand the value of their efforts. A transparent policy about the proper use of Web 2.0 tools like blogs and wikis, and make the workforce understand its ramifications, let both employees and management work towards the organic growth of the company.

Challenge yourself, venture where no one has ventured before, has been source of innovation at the BBC. “At the BBC, employees were allowed to post on internal forums about anything they wanted to. Someone started a conversation about the pros and cons of being single. This evolved into something awfully close to a dating service. Managers, as you might imagine, were cringing.” But, producers turned up for producing a program on being single. This was truly an example of delivering true business value out of something seemingly most un-business like preposition.

If interested, you can read the complete post on the BBC here.

Posted by Praveen Panjiar, Blog Evangelist, OutworX Corporation

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