The “voice” of an organization is indicative of its culture. Organizational culture is an idea in the field of Organizational studies and management which describes the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of an organization. It is defined as “the specific collection of values and norms shared by people and groups in an organization and that control the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization.”
Notice the definition emphasizes that culture controls the way they interact with each other and with stakeholders outside the organization. Interaction between people is largely enabled by communications. Communications reflected by attitudes, actions and the tone of conversations. Now the attitudes, actions and the tone of conversations has become “open source” fueled by the power of social media. Open source communications show an organizations culture for the world to see and experience.
What Does The World See?
The market of conversations seek value created from an exchange of communications. Values are reflected by relational attributes and the context of content that creates an affinity to a market. The affinity creates an open source culture driven by trust fueled by shared experiences. The culture of social media is described as the psychology, attitudes, experiences, beliefs and values (personal and cultural values) of people connecting with like-minded “crowds” who offer free value exchanges. There is no one person or organization trying to control the way they interact with each other.
Social media affords the crowds to interact without the oversight or control of any one organization. Perplexed by this phenomena traditional organizations jump into social media not realizing that their own culture will become transparent and the market of conversations will expose the character of their culture. If the organizations culture isn’t “open” then it cannot say trust and value to the market of conversations. Subsequently the market will not engage because the culture of social media rejects any attempt to control or manipulate the conversations.
Magnifying The Need For Change
Organizational cultural change has evolved for decades. Studies after studies prove the value of an “open vs. closed” culture and evidence abounds from those organizations who have made the shift. Awareness of an organizations cultural attributes are communications. People share their experiences with other people. People are the power of any organization and unless empowered they will feel powerless.
Empowered people represent enormous power. Unified for a cause, a mission or a common goal people can and will do uncommon things. Uncommon things are about achievement of the impossible, unexpected and not planned but realized. On the fringes of uncommon things is innovation. Innovations comes from creating ideas that solve common problems and then creates new solutions that serve a market.
Social media affords the means for people to unite and exchange ideas, knowledge and creates solutions for the “crowds”. For any business to succeed they will need to learn and understand why this happens, how it happens and who makes it happen. Doing so is the solution to create innovation which markets will consume and create new capital. However unless business leaders can first change their own culture they cannot tap into the “open source” culture of social media. Attempting to do so without fixing their own culture is a direct path to failure. Get it?
What say you?