Harnessing the power of people, to benefit your enterprise community.

Enterprise communities, like real world communities, need an army of people to help build, strengthen and protect, this process is vital to it’s survival and continued growth. Fostering an enterprise community will draw the same parallels in real world examples of community building, you’re tapping into the same thought processes and techniques to strengthen these communities.

Intranets fall squarely into this domain, they enable communal interaction with the three P’s of enterprise communities:

  1. People (The users)
  2. Place (The Intranet)
  3. Process (The applications)

People use the Intranet to achieve their daily goals, complete tasks and communicate either through uploading, creating or editing content, these are the simplest of expectations(not to say they will happen). Many people are perfectly happy with this scenario, they understand the expectations and will deliver what is necessary to fulfil them, other people will remain totally inactive unless coerced, but there are always some people, to varying degrees, who love to get involved.

These people are the potential recruits for your Intranet Army.

Why do you need an army?

Your army will help you :

  1. Accomplish more
  2. Overcome obstacles
  3. Defend the cause
  4. Spread the message

What does your army need?

Your army needs :

  1. A cause
    Your army needs something to uphold defend, an ideal, a vision, a mission, a goal, whatever you want to create, it needs to exist as a message.
  2. A leader
    Every army needs a general, someone who will lead them in accomplishing their mission
  3. A chain of command
    The chain of command is vital, one person can be responsible for everything, but they cannot do it all, they need the right people to micromanage and communicate the evolving mission.
  4. Discipline
    People need to understand and trust in the process so that they can react to circumstances in a predictable way. Not discipline with a stick, but the understanding of what being disciplined about their role means to the rest of the army and their cause.
  5. Tools
    You need to equip your army with the right tools to do their job, and make sure you maintain those tools. When possible upgrade those tools, make it easier for them to do their job.

How do you recruit you army?

You recruit your army by :

  1. Asking for help
    You’ll be surprised how many respond to being asked in the right way, don’t be scared to ask for help.
  2. Advertising
    Your Intranet needs you.

How do you keep your army?

Getting an army is the easy bit, keeping the army is much harder, ever heard of mutiny, or deserters? If you keep working on your army, your army will keep working for you.

You keep your army by :

  1. Rewarding them 
    Financial reward is not the only way to keep an army, in fact armies around the world are not excessively remunerated, they get rewarded by respect, recognition, praise and status.
  2. Inspiring them
    Great armies need great leaders, great leaders lead by example.
  3. Delegating
    There is too much to do yourself, this is why you have and are trying to recruit an army, make sure you delegate responsibility to people who are capable of achieving your goals.
  4. Keeping them focussed
    Focus on your cause, but don’t ignore your army, treat them right and they will go to the end of the earth for you.
  5. Keeping them in the loop
    Keep your army informed, of progress, of goals and intelligence.
  6. Keeping them busy
    Keep your army busy, no one wants an army sitting around doing nothing, especially not the army itself.

There’s is a huge amount of information on the types of people that make up these social/enterprise communities, it’s covered in more detail by Social Technographics. This information is really valuable to anyone who’s trying to understand their enterprise community and how to tap into their potential.