Some of the questions you will get – especially from internal leadership – when you set out on a social busines journey are;
- What are you trying to achieve?
- What are the behaviors you want to change?
- How do you measure progress and success?
- How do you prioritise the focus areas?
One of the important frameworks we use as a starting point for our navigation is the Community Management Maturity model from the Community Roundtable:
The model is simple to comprehend which is good, because you can use it as a communications piece and a dialogue driver (with e.g. project or leadership teams).
For communicating with executive management, we have found it really helpful to facilitate a simple discussion of the difference between a team or organisation who is on stage 1 from one that has moved to stage 3 or 4. In all cases, most any executive manager will acknowledge the benefits of having moved to a more mature stage.
The model was originally used to asses the maturity of a single community. Since we need to assess not only communities, but also functions, projects, and of course communities, we are currently in the process of developing a master-questionnaire which can be adapted and scaled to whatever unit of analysis we need. So we will probably end up having at least 2 standard questionnaires: One for company wide assessment, and one for an organisational unit/community.
There will be a number of questions targeting each of the competences (the vertical axis) individually. Our biggest challenge has been to articulate questions which address a single competence. Once you get started, it seems very difficult to separate e.g. Strategy, Leadership, and Culture. However, we will succeed, and in some cases we accept mutual dependency.
We want to have as many questions answered in a format where we can obtain answers as a continuum, since it makes analysis of the results easier froma mathematical point of view. Hence, we have decided to use a 5-point Likert scale with an additional ‘Don’t know’ option as a standard. Examples of statements/questions are:
- My manager does not allow me to spend time on social technology (internal as well as external).
- I don’t have time to learn and use social technology in my daily job.
- I feel that not enough of my team members and colleagues are using social technology, and therefore it does not make sense for me to invest in learning and applying social technology.
Our plan is to make a global assessment every 6-9 months, and then do ad-hoc assessments for smaller units when our assistance is called for.
Assessments are one of the easiest ways to let a leader initiate a change activity, and the assessment is a great starting point for tangible discussions in the team. Even if someone should want to question findings from a more hard-core perspective (e.g. correlation and chronbach-alpha scores) the assessment results will always be a solid base from which to set out on change projects with a starting point in perceptions and behaviours of the team in question.
If you have great ideas for questions you think could be used for such a questionnaire, please feel free to post them as a comment 😉
By Thomas Asger Hansen, twitter.com/thomasasger