Gartner Group, the tech analysis organization famous for their predictions, is out with their prognostication about the use of Social Networking in business. (See the whole article here). One of their pronouncements is unfortunately very familiar:
“Through 2012, over 70 percent of IT-dominated social media initiatives will fail.”
Through the rise of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) we saw a similar early frenzy for adoption and similar failure rates. Based on Gartner’s research, we have not learned much. The main reason they cite is that although these are branding, marketing, PR and even sales initiatives they are launched and/ or driven by IT.
The leaders of an organizational, process or culture change can delegate parts of that initiative. Communications, planning, software, training and all the parts needed to see effective change. But only a leader with sufficient credibility and influence can be accountable for the entire initiative.
In one of the most powerful passages in Execution, the Discipline of Getting Things Done, Larry Bossidy says, “And never launch an initiative unless you are personally committed to it and prepared to see it through until it’s embedded in the DNA of the organization.” No technology-supported initiative is a Field of Dreams and anyone who has been involved with one knows: Just because you build it does not mean that they will come.
But you will still have spent the money and time to build it.