Social Media in the Small and Medium Firm

The third of a total of 5 events, set to explore Social Media in the small and medium firm in Germany, took place yesterday on the 31st floor of the DB Systel Silver Tower in downtown Frankfurt, Germany. The project is financed by the German Ministry of Economics and Technology and brings together a diverse audience of interested and interesting parties to discuss, debate and discover what role Social Media (can) play in the firm. I have the privilege of being part of this project on behalf of IZA and its IDSC.

Among the many interesting contributions in this third installment the one by a group of DB employees certainly caught my eye. This group is basically responsible for the introduction in their firm of web based solutions which allow company employes to blog internally on work related matters. A small piece of what I like to call participatory Intranet. What Impressed me about this group and their presentation is the amount of sensible conclusions they drew from their experience and their ability to formulate and communicate them to their audience.

The core remark is that while what they did was to implement and run a piece of technology, their success was due to the fact that they understood that what they were up to, reached way beyond the narrow confines of technology: they were about to start a cultural revolution in their firm.

I also liked the elegant admission of one of them that their success is only the beginning of a journey, it was the culmination of a series of trials and errors and that as he nicely put it: only a posteriori did it look like they had a plan!

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