Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Social Media Adoption: 10 Yellow Hat points say not all social media is bad for organization

My earlier post "Antithesis for Social Media Adoption: 10 points to answer for getting buy-in" was the black hat thinking that happen to be the primary and gate keepers thoughts when any initiative is triggered by a group.

Having said above, wearing "yellow hat" tells me that not all social media tools should to be firewalled in enterprise.

1. Bookmarking Evolution: Remember the days when we clicked on bookmarks from browser menu and it used to roll on and on taking browsing time for searching within bookmarks cumbersome. Not any more. Delicious, Digg, Stumble upon are worthy tools that provide gems from heap in lesser time.  One Riot searches the phrases in realtime social media platforms as they occur. So giving access to them would save on bandwidth and time to read up with interest.

2. Subscribing to blogs  relevant to business are good form of encouragement and letting control to users to comment/share it among themselves. RSS Feeds can be shared across people. Tools like BlogRovR are online and can share the RSS feeds without moving the physical files. The like minded recommendations is what makes a social gathering impressive and talked about. Same for corporates also. First, remember, that corporates are part of social animal. Not a place which cuts of societal considerations for business purposes.

Having a diverse and dispersed team scan related tags relevant to enterprise and contribute to tagging multiple sites which have compatible license agreements would benefit the entire organization that otherwise relies on google search.

3. Social media presences enhances organization credibility:
There was a time when individuals felt proud of being part of an organization. The internet world has flattened and would eventually flip the equation. It is the people with whom the organization is associated that would be business differentiator.

4. Person dependent network of networks gives a wider reach: This is of course, the organic way of growth. With organic, there is guarantee of good health. It is important to adopt social media, if your organization needs a viral support.

In my earlier post "Ideas and Ideanets" I postulated that it is connectors (people) who boost the nuclear reaction and the power in the idea as it travels multiple nodal points in the net. This is the way Social Media operates. Organizations need to tap into power of ideanets of individuals to overcome the "size inertia". If an organization is in, say, facebook, then you either be in their network or out of the network. While if you are as an individual in facebook, your network and network of networks have a chance to know you better. Knowing a person better boosts the organization credibility in terms of the resource qualities.

5. Leadership skills are about your recognition and reach:Well, leadership and management books do not talk about this. But to me a good leader can throw his/her weight around to reach right people and get the job done. A leaders motivation skills, oratorial skills and other business acumen skills are secondary compared to this one skill if practiced right.

I need a business. You can get the best brains in the company to put their 200% on the back room and liason work. But the crack moment is only when the leader lifts the phone to place a call and cement the deal. This then means that leaders at work needs enough recognition and reach to socialize for organization benefit. What better way than to use social media and create a niche.

6. A good tool for Introverts: I attended a MBTI training session and was found to be introvertish. True to my character. Now, if I have to climb the ladder and be the leader as wished in #5, then I need to take personality transformation session. A better way for introverts to open up is to be part of the social media. A tweet, here and there, a blog, a contribution to a forum, a simple recognition, the etiquette of peers, mentors and admirers go a long way in shaping the career of introvertish personalities. Isn't then the organization responsibility to take interest in personal development of their own resources ?

7. Contribution is the key: Many organizations culture is seeped in knowledge hoarding. Many new joinees come with the mindset that to grow they need to own more. But what a wrong way to start the career. Experience has taught all of us that to grow you let go of your current responsibilities. The best way then is to contribute to a knowledge pool and give training to people who can step up to your current roles. At same time, you go ahead and dip in the same pool to grow further. The best tool to encourage contribution is social media. Without meaningful contribution, you don't exist in the internet world.

8. Social Media is about "identity revenue": "Oh! I have heard good stories about him/her!". Don't you feel positive vibes when some one speaks the sentence. Wouldnt intuition say that the meeting is going to go well. In social/business conversations, the best way to start, direct and end conversations is to discuss about people whom we mutual admire (well cribbing about a person is also a great bonder. But could pull down a mehfil into serious mode.) This then gets to a win-win situation. This identity revenue is lost if there is no one you know or connected with.

9. Content is the new currency: If your identity is the revenue stream, then content is the currency to trade in this economy. You either aggregate content from multiple sources to a chosen theme or be the author to create new content or a synthesizer to bring together multiple sources under a single topic to build a fresh perspective. FMCG companies have realized this and contribute heavily to create content consumers. They charge up mind share in shelves and in internet steps. The approach to allow their community connect in their own platform brings them as extended family with minimum investment.

Just that IT companies have not understood the full potential (except share few white papers and turn their sales materials in public domain.)

10. There is no disadvantage with social media: Just tell me if you can spot one. Well, yes, people can spat public with a lose-all proposition. But isn't that transactional for the audience. The parties hurt need introspection. But we dont remember these spats over the long run. That is the beauty of social media. Negativism is buried deep with lots of positive energy around.

Embrace social media for a better business and personal growth trajectory.

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