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POPin Blog

Choosing an Enterprise Social Platform

We all know that a one-on-one conversation makes for a more in-depth and intimate one. When we start adding in more and more people, we lose something in the process, but 10 people are usually smarter than one person and 1,000 people should be smarter than 10; unless that one person is Stephen Hawking. Unfortunately, large groups start to become less in-depth and more political until everyone is just trying to register opinions and nothing actually gets done. The lack of intimacy in larger group conversations can really diminish the impact. So, how do you get the intimacy of a one-on-one conversation with all the smarts of a thousand (or more) people? First we have to understand the basic differences between small group and large group communication dynamics. With smaller groups, it is much easier to keep on task and actually get things done. When you have less people talking (or communicating via social media), you get a more interactive and open communication so it is simpler to actually discuss topics fully and get engagement from all participants. With larger groups, it becomes very hard to register all of the opinions flying around. It is much harder with 1,000 people all trying to talk about their idea than it is with, let’s say, ten to twenty people. Imagine a University auditorium style lecture. When there’s a ratio of 1 teacher to 400 or more students, ideas tend to get lost in the chaos sometimes. The teacher can’t get to every single student in one class period (as much as s/he might want to); it’s just not possible. So how do they make sure everyone gets to talk? The most effective way is to break them into smaller groups in order to discuss topics more in-depth individually. Then the small groups would bring their ideas to the front of the class to be addressed by the entire group. The same idea should be applied to business communications and use of enterprise social media. Large groups have to be broken into smaller groups; then the top decisions of the smaller groups can be elevated into the larger group. Only this way can you help eliminate the social noise and get actionable results with full group engagement. When selecting enterprise tools for engagement it is highly recommended to choose tools that can accommodate these nuances of group dynamics. In past blogs, we’ve mentioned how important it is to engage your team members. When they feel heard and trusted and valued, they will work harder and produce better results. When you optimize communication, you are really just engaging your employees, customers, and partners to their full potential.