Objection #4 comes from those who are nervous about what content is posted. “We can just let ANYONE post ANYTHING!”
Answer: Why not? What are you afraid of? This isn’t said in a condescending way, but really – What are you afraid of? That someone will post something in appropriate? Too late. Already happens (happened). The only difference is that you didn’t have any visibility into it.
When we launched our internal environment there were a few people who started a forum discussion. A couple days into it one person posted something that was inappropriate. You could hear the crickets for the next few hours. As soon as others saw it, I was pulled in seperately by our head of HR and by the president of the company with the same question, “What are we going to do?” My response was, “Nothing. Sit tight and let it play out.” Thankfully they did hold it. And you know what? All was well.
Those involved in the discussion took care of it themselves. Management wasn’t sent an email with yet another employee skirmish we needed to be in the middle of. We didn’t do a thing. They took care of it. Not only did we not do anything but we had the added benefit of watching it happening and having visibility into something that would have taken place in the confined area of email.
We have had conversations about bonobos, about tomatoes being a fruit or a vegetable, about the first day of Spring. But everyone was trying it out. Now discussions are around how internal processes work, how to use different tools, when creating a goal what does S.M.A.R.T. really mean, and how to receive personal faxes through the phone system. We are learning. From each other.
Let the conversations happen. Even if they seem frivolous at first. Let them get to know something foreign using familiar subjects. When they are comfortable with the tools they will really start to use them correctly. And let them police themselves. Not that you shouldn’t keep an eye on what is going on, but don’t be too quick to call someone out. Better from peers than management.