Web 2.0 and Change Management

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

I read in interesting interview in Business Management with Fred Killeen, Chief Technology Office at GM.


Here’s the portion that relates to change management.

BM. What’s next for you at GM in terms of Web 2.0? How are you going to be approaching that change management aspect you mentioned earlier?


FK. There are a couple of things we’re doing. We’re seeding the company with Web 2.0 pilots to help us understand how such technologies get used within the company, and to allow us to see what challenges we have from a change management standpoint. We recognize that there’s a significant amount of communication needed in order to educate users on how to use these technologies, and how to engage with them. However, we also see that there’s great potential for changing the way we do a lot of things, from how we engage our users, to how we develop systems, to how we interact with our customers, right through to how we collaborate together in order to design and develop better cars and trucks.

BM. Based on your own experiences at GM, what advice would you give to any companies just starting to think about getting involved in these types of projects?

FK. My input would be to do some pilots, and through those pilots understand how it changes the work, how it impacts the users, and what you need to do from a change management standpoint. The thing that makes this technology great is that it’s reasonably simple, yet allows you to exploit a whole host of capabilities. It’s less about technology.

Here’s was my comment to the author:

I loved the question about Web 2.0 and change management and Killeen’s response. In my experience, so many of the communication plans in change management are one-way, usually led by long, mind-numbing Power Point shows. I think the informality and grassroots feel of Web 2.0 provides opportunities for actual conversation during the planning and implementation of change. Thanks for a great interview.