About a week ago, I took part in the annual Maala Conference. In addition to the valuable seminars I attended, I had the opportunity to present our blog in the panel which discussed the role of Web 2.0 in enabling companies to conduct an active dialog with employees and external stakeholders. Recent trends indicate that more and more large corporations are putting greater emphasis on empowering their employees and stakeholders. Web 2.0 provides individuals with a platform to share thoughts and ideas that impact opinion within the organization.The panel kicked off its discussions with a lecture entitled “Corporate Conversation-the Next Step ” delivered by Sagi Hametz the CEO of Blink. He said that the revolution of dialogue started with the “Talk Back”, pointing out that at any given minute 24 hours a day, someone is writing text on the web. According to Sagi, it doesn’t matter whether 20 people or one million people read it; it’s out there and the surfing public has to respond. However, he says, the bone is figuring out how to go from there to creating a process of dialog. And Web 2.0, or in other words, the adoption of a model of “read, write, web”, requires a sociological and anthropological change and not just a technological one. I couldn’t agree more. This past summer, I found a great article by Aron Carmer entitled “Web 2.0: With the Whole World Watching, Are You Up to Speed?”at www.bsr.org. On page 2 article, Mr. Carmer shares some really great insight on the changes that those of us dealing with CSR will face as a result of the new communication norms that WEB 2.0 has introduced. With the broad adoption of a CSR strategy, corporations are becoming more aware of the importance of transparency and dialog as a good business model in motivating employees and stakeholders to embrace the company’s values. Simply put, it makes them feel more committed to the company and its goals. No one explains it better than Max Gladwell in his blog “Ten Ways that Social Media and Sustainability Align” There is so much potential for companies that value open and transparent dialog with their employees and other stakeholders. All they have to do is tap into the exciting tools offered by the web. The use of Web 2.0 is positioned to turn intranet sites, especially those of large corporate giants, into a platform to give employees their say within an informal framework. At the same time, Web 2.0 is a valuable tool which can be used by corporations to inform their stakeholders about on-going and upcoming CSR activities, thereby involving them in the bigger picture – making them real partners in the contribution to the community.
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