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Clues for Championing Social Media in the Corporation

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Yvonne F Brown

Yvonne F Brown

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So much of the conversation about social media in the enterprise is about technology. The real story is about sociology & anthropology. It's hard to get social media functioning in some companies because of cultural obstacles.

Often the person designated, explicitly or implicitly, to be social media champion has to understand & be able to practice the skills of facilitating & leading transformational change. While it is perfectly logical to nominate the most geeky person in the company to lead the change, that could well be a seriously bad move. Someone who understands cultural difference & cross-cultural communication, & knows enough about the technology or is open to learning about it, is probably a better bet than the TopGeek.

Even when companies understand cultural shifts, there is still more than a good chance that the person nominated to get the company functioning well in the social media space is not high up in the pecking order. So how are they going to drive the change without getting metaphorically stomped on or just plain old blocked at the pass?

One thing they could do is to use some coaching skills, especially listening. And only people who haven't done high level coaching would say listening is easy. When practiced masterfully, real listening will engage the whole person, mentally, emotionally, even physically, in focusing on what the person speaking has to say. One of the high level skills is to hear what is not being spoken.

I'm attaching a paper I've done on this. Some of my coaching friends would probably say I'm making higher level coaching skills sound too easy, but the fact is that as with many life skills some people do have high level skills, innately or learned, and some have a good aptitude for learning and applying quickly.

The key thing in the social media implementation context is that people focus on the real game, which is cultural, not on the technology platform game.

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