Here’s the thing: love it or hate it, Facebook has become one of the major ways we communicate with our friends and the world. The Feed – the all powerful, capital F Feed – is one of the main influences on how we consume news, get information, discover new stuff and, ultimately, understand our reality.
Our Facebook experience has conditioned us to be very comfortable with a mix of formal and informal, work and friends, news and kittens. We don’t think twice scrolling down the screen when a piece about Obama endorsing Hillary is followed by a joey (that’s what a baby koala is called!) hugging his koala-mom. Both pieces of information share the same physical and mental space.
That’s why FB@Work is a very powerful tool for inter-organizational communication.
Inter-organization communication and knowledge sharing is a challenge for any company above a certain size. Now think of a startup that within a year has grown from 60 to over 300 employees and expanded to 6 offices around the world. Can you think of one? Oh, wait, it’s us.
Growing rapidly and globally does not come without a price. You can’t just throw your stress ball across the room to catch the attention of the person you need answers from. You need to go to another room, another floor, or even another continent. How do you make sure information keeps flowing and, not less importantly, company culture remains robust?
Enter FB@Work. The platform, using the same basic and familiar Facebook metaphors – feed, groups, tagging, etc – creates a space where information and culture can coexist effortlessly.
FB@Work is not about rigidly cataloging and storing information. It’s about telling the multi-voice, multifaceted story of the day to day life of a company. It’s where you post pictures from events, successes of colleagues, music you like to listen to, industry news and so much more. It’s basically a giant watercooler, existing everywhere in the world there’s a SimilarWeb office.
I’m going to throw a bunch of $5 words at you now. Decentralized evolution. Participatory democracy. Empowering individuals. It all comes down to the same basic principle – the fact that anyone in the company can participate and contribute to the conversation. It creates a sense of ownership that in turn breeds involvement, motivation and engagement.
Why does it work?
- Minimal learning curve – If you know how to use Facebook, you’re good
- Low barriers for participation – the formal/informal mix makes everyone feel comfortable sharing and contributing
- Fast positive reinforcement – you’re liked therefore you are
I can wax poetic on how FB@Work creates an atmosphere of transparency, collaboration and sharing, and I might just do so in a follow-up post. For now, I’m going to leave it at that – in a world where life and work mix sometimes beyond recognition, FB@Work is one of the best devices I know to benefit from this mix.