Business leaders need to consider whether management should understand and use social media to impact organizational performance. The current market sentiment suggest that management would rather delegate the function of social media to others rather than assume the responsibility themselves.
In order to determine whether management should understand and use social media one must consider the role of management.
Management in all business and human organization activity is simply the act of getting people together to accomplish desired goals and objectives. Management comprises planning, organizing, staffing, leading or directing, and controlling an organization (a group of one or more people or entities) or effort for the purpose of accomplishing a goal. Communications is a critical role in order to maximize the discipline of management.
Management Demands Are Changing
In his book Out Of The Crisis (1986) W. Edwards Deming said “We are living in prison, under the tyranny of the prevailing style of interaction between people, between teams, between divisions.” We must replace the idea that we need competition between people with cooperation. Present practices squeeze intrinsic motivation, self esteem and dignity out of people over their life time. The forces of destruction such as forced distribution of grades, merit systems, competition between people and groups, incentive pay, numerical goals, explanation of variances, and treating every group as a profit center. People are born with such as intrinsic motivation, self esteem, dignity, cooperation, and joy in learning.”
The role of a manager of people should be aimed at:
- Understand the purpose of the business and communicate this to the people in the system.
- Help people see how their communications can help optimize performance.
- Understand that people are different and use this knowledge to develop their abilities to optimize the system.
- Be a continuous learner and encourage continuous learning of how social media impacts your system.
- Be a coach and counsel, not a judge. Listen, learn and apply together
- Understand how communications impact the performance of your system.
- Develop and use knowledge, personality, communications and persuasive power in the management of people, and not rely on authority of office except to change the system for improvement.
- Study results of your communications to improve as a manager of people.
- Create an environment of trust to encourage freedom and innovation.
- Not expect perfection.
- Listen and learn without passing judgment.
- Have an unplanned and unhurried conversation with each worker at least once a year to understand their aims, hopes and fears. Do the same with your customers
- Understand the benefits of cooperation and the losses created by competition between people and groups.
What Role Does Social Media Play?
If you agree with the previous 13 points which define managements role then notice how communications and relational skills are critical to each point. If social media is nothing more than a new system for communicating one would think that management ought to pay attention, learn, understand and use it to better manage. Instead we see examples after examples of management delegating the use and study of social media to outside resources or internal self appointed experts. Many still think that all this social stuff is for kids.
How can anyone manage anything without using communications to listen, learn and understand what the market is communicating? Since communications is the fiber of any economy one would think that management would study and improve communications. How can they if they don’t consider it a critical function that directly impacts performance. They can’t!
Deming’s work “Out Of The Crisis” was published 24 years ago and most managers are still operating in the crisis. The crisis is one of not managing with management knowledge. Get it?
What say you?