Why Collaboration Fails
Companies have yet to learn that you can't legislate behavior. When (yet another) new initiative or collaborative technology is announced, you are asking people to change behavior and habits. Without their personal buy-in, they will nod their heads yes - and do nothing. They'll simply wait it out. Here are just a few of the reason why:
-Habits eat policy for lunch (to borrow your phase). Changing behavior takes time. Breaking habits and patterns is difficult.
-Employees have higher workloads and shorter attention spans (8 seconds on average). They are not going to volunteer for change unless they can clearly see the personal benefit
-What's in it for me? Between 65-80% of all inititaves fail. Companies need to understand that employees are consumers who make choices about what they are willing to buy into. They've been educated and trained by the internet and advertisers to make choices about things that benefit them. They need to know what's in it for them in a tangible way right from the start. This is especially true when it comes to corporate initiatives.
-Lack of management engagement with the initiative. A memo won't suffice. If management isn't going to publicly support and actively engage with the initiative, employees will immediately get the message and simply wait for the inititative to fail.
-You need metrics. Without metrics, you can't measure progress, or failure.
-I agree, you need champions (early adopters) who will explain the benefits of an initative in terms that reasonate with their colleagues
-In large companies, different locations have different issues and priorities. Any initiatve must be viewed in context and adjustments made as appropriate or universal adoption will not happen.
Finally, unless IT actively supports and implements the initiative quickly and universally, its inconsistency will beome a source of frustration by employees and it will become yet another expensive, failed initiative.
Trident Communications LLC