Why enterprise social success is like baking a cake

Why enterprise social success is like baking a cake

Enterprise Social Networks, or ESNs, have an amazing ability to build connections, create communicative and collaborative cultures, as well as play a role in fostering knowledge sharing and management behaviours.

Launching, building and maintaining a maturing and business-valued enterprise social tool is very much a labour of love (and sometimes, pain, sweat and tears). Building successful networks is a little bit like baking a cake.  You need some guidance, the right ingredients and the right environment to lead to a successful outcome.


They can flourish under the right conditions, but just like any good product, they need tender, loving care. Get it right, and it’s a delicious outcome.  Get it wrong, and it becomes a bit messy, dry and hard to swallow.

delicious and rewarding when made well!

delicious and rewarding when made well!

ESN strategy

The number one question I find myself asking customers is why.  It seems like a basic question – but often one that is overlooked when, generally speaking, the push has come from a desire to launch a product. Getting to the why isn’t always straightforward, but investing time and effort up front and providing the strategic intent, can be the difference between a successful network, and one that flat-lines!

The strategy is like choosing what sort of cake you are going to bake.  You know you want cake – but you’ve got a choice.  Will it be a vegan-friendly, beetroot-based, raw delight.  Or a black forest cake?  Or maybe a vanilla cake?  To me, it’s all about choice – choice and opportunity which is directly linked to where your business is going.

community managers

One of the important ingredients for a thriving enterprise social network is a collaborative, brave and skilled community manager.  They are the ones who will help cook your enterprise social cake. Community Managers across the world are a passionate and friendly bunch who are always wiling to share their opinions, advice and stories.

One such avenue for these stories is the Yaminade (produced by Paul Woods – my friend, former Boss Man and colleague) contains a range of excellent stories, shared by enterprise social network community managers. Check out the recipes (or episodes), download them, or even better – subscribe! I’m lucking enough to have been the story teller in both episode 2 and 17.

And, if you’ve got a tricky enterprise social challenge, get in touch and we can see how Culture Ninjas can assist.

**This post is also published on medium.com.  You can follow me on medium as well**

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