User Adoption – Executive Management Style

Whether we’re talking about business culture, the projects that drive that business forward or the task of building on the enduring legacy of the original vision of the founder(s), the momentum behind the success of any enterprise hinges on the level of engagement from the Executive Management team.  Every initiative and action must support the business vision or its not worth pursuing.  Just like every compass has a North, every business must retain and recalibrate its focal point to ensure it continues to do the right things well.

The adoption of products by business users is no different; the decisions, funding, policies, execution and enforcement all begin at the Executive Management level.  The idea that the communication of the vision and related strategies needs to be visible to employees at all levels of the organization is not only necessary, it’s required.  And not just any communication, it needs to be real communication that helps each employee understand the “Why’s” around the initiative right out of the gate.  Then just like any child-parent relationship, the employees will watch what the executives do in the next hours, days, weeks and years to understand if what was stated was just ‘talk’.  Because more important than what you say, is what you do.  If employees see that Executive Management is walking the talk, they will as well.  What employees observe and then do, will then establish the culture of the organization.

At the end of the day, employees really do want someone to follow.  They want real leaders not just leadership.  They want to understand the vision.  They want to follow a vision that makes sense.  They want something to believe in.  And someone to trust.  They want to be a part of a business, group or club that they identify with.  Once they identify with it, they will embody it.  They will live and breathe it day in and day out.  Their emotions and actions towards other employees and clients will support the vision.  Ultimately, a culture will be established from the top down.

==================== Big Picture Adoption ====================

The best and most successful projects start with the right vision, the right people in the right role with the right responsibilities, accountabilities and processes implementing the right solutions with the right skin in the game at the time to make it successful.

Vision     (WHY)  the (founders) story that drives the organization
People     (WHO)  engaged members that believe and identify with the WHY
Processes  (WHAT) the machinery and engine for getting things done
Technology (HOW)  enables competitive advantage, innovation, market growth
ROI        (WHEN) get profitable sooner than later

Executive Management must first see and then be able to communicate the big picture about WHY we need to be doing X, Y and Z. Their support will provide the leverage to clear rubble, obstacles and roadblocks in due time and in a manageable manner.  Without their support, initiatives are skunk works projects that will struggle due to limited funding, limited visibility, limited features, limited communication, limited engagement, limited support, etc.

What are the big picture stories that shape your company, your local business or your life for that matter?  Why do you do what you do?  What is your story?  What is the ultimate vision for your business?  Why are others following you?  Why does anyone want to work for your company.  Why?  Why?  Why?

In the Product Adoption world, people go through 5 stages on their way through the Change Cycle.
– Awareness …… stakeholder and individual involvement
– Understanding .. education and training
– Attitude ……. involve and recognize progress
– Behavior ……. reward change
– Results …….. celebrate

The ultimate challenge is to level the mountain; in other words, flatten the learning curve. The objective is to get your audience (employees, clients, family, etc.) to jump the “chasm” because THEY WANT TO and NOT because THEY HAVE TO.  It’s a push versus pull mentality accomplished thru branding, identity management and the KISS principle.  You ultimately want them to transition from where they are to where you want them to be;  with the least amount of effort … and, in such a manner that they won’t even realize there was a chasm to begin with.

================= SharePoint Vision =================

From the very beginning, SharePoint has been a silo-busting fiefdom-destroying platform.  Entities that once thought of themselves as islands of expertise, are now finding the value of working together to leverage the value of the matrixed team.
– business entities (teams, departments, groups, etc.) learned to collaborate
– business-to-business entities learned to collaborate
– business-to-client entities learned to collaborate
– business-to-vendor entities learned to collaborate

Isolated one-off solutions were retired as enterprise solutions were transitioned to SharePoint. Improvements in economies of scale in storage, development, maintenance, training, personnel and support were all impacted.

Businesses began talking about enterprise level challenges but with a new perception of reality related to the Management area of
– Document
– Content
– Records
– Security
– Storage

The focus on architecture became front and center as enterprises found they needed a better understanding and a big picture view of where all their data resides, the systems that are crunching it and the business users that interact with it.  As the importance of Big Data takes shape, this focus will be elevated as well.
– Enterprise Architecture
– Information Architecture

Content Owners are no longer just publishing their content within their intranet environments.  It is now as simple as ever to publish the same or similar content directly to their extranet and/or internet sites.  Why?  The activities and related information around your business initiatives today need to be visible to your potential future clients, vendors and consumers today; and at the latest, tomorrow. Why?  Because they want to know what sustainability, philanthropy and marketing initiatives are happening within your business.  Why?  Because those clients, vendors and consumers may be more likely to work with businesses that are more outward focused, more sustainable, more ______ (fill in the blank).

The next level of engagement relates to Social, the Cloud and Mobility.  The definition of ‘connected’ just moved to another celestial realm.  Just when you thought, enough was enough…the perception of enough changed again.

================= UniSys Case Study =================
Review this study Use the power of SharePoint to enable a Social Global Workforce
as presented by Gloria Burke, Director of Knowledge and Collaboration Strategy and Governance.

View the Case Study [on the Microsoft Site]

================= Get Started Now ===================
Use this Guide to quick start the use of SharePoint within your business.

======== Follow Up ========
What IS the Vision for SharePoint within Your Business?
What Big Ideas sold SharePoint to your Executive Management Team?
What CSF’s were Conquered?
What KPI’s demonstrate Adoption Success Best?

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