Organizational culture as been studied, talked about and criticized for years. It seems that the very subject of managing culture is a significant challenge for any organization regardless of size. The very nature of “culture” is representative of the people, process and structure of any organization. Now any organizations culture just became transparent because of the reach and empowerment offered from social technologies..
Luis Suarez writes: “To me, social computing within the enterprise is about everything, but the tools. It’s a philosophical and social corporate movement, a lifestyle, a new way of connecting and interacting with people, both inside and outside of the firewall; one where the main focus is not on the technology itself, but on the people behind it.
Yes, I’m talking about culture. Indeed, it’s all about a cultural shift, one that is starting to take the corporate world by storm at multiple levels, going from a grassroots bottom-up approach all the way to a top down executive level. If you ask me, I would even venture to state that is unstoppable at this point in time. We are probably far too immersed in it already to just want to back out of it altogether. So if it were just about technology itself, we probably could have done it already, but since the change is much more profound, like I said, I don’t think there is a way back. And that’s a good thing.”
Back To The Future?
Luis makes some very good points in his article and his statement of “since the change is much more profound, like I said, I don’t think there is a way back. And that’s a good thing” speaks volumes to the challenges ahead for management. In an earlier article titled “Social Media And Management” we said “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 and not assume the responsibility themselves.” This sentiment is dangerous grounds for organizations either using or considering use of social media. Dangerous because they don’t understand the cultural impact which will unfold before their eyes.
Cultural change is a knowledge domain which requires keen insights into organizational behavior and what drives it. It takes special training and knowledge to manage through the maze of issues needing consideration and a roadmap about how to make changes effectively. The biggest barrier to change has always been and always be management. Today’s management disciplines lack the knowledge and skills required to change. Without help they cannot change. Maybe the first change will be either new management or enlightened management.
What say you?