In order to get ready before you leap you really need to assess whether your organization would be consider “social”. The people who could answer that question best are your employees then your customers. However if you’ve never really asked those people whether you are good at building and keeping relations then you might consider assessing that before you jump into social media.
To assess whether the organization is ready means to check three things that will give you keen insights into whether or not you are ready. These three things include:
- People: How do they really feel about their relationship with the organization. People being suppliers, employees, customers and prospects. You might be surprised at what they might say and that is if you are ready to listen.
- Process: Your organization has many processes that either enable or constraint people from communicating. How well are those processes performing? How would you know? Your organization also has processes, spoken and unspoken, which say trust, collaboration and the tone of your communications. Do you know what these processes are? What do the processes say to the issues of trust, collaboration and relations?
- Culture: The BIG UMBRELLA of stuff that reflects the organizations trust, relations and mind-set that speaks the sentiment of managements view of its people, internal and external.
- Tools: Does your organization have the right tools to efficiently and effectively communicate? Does your organization provide people with tools to improve processes, relations and make changes that enhance the culture and its market sentiment? How would you know? Do you know? Not knowing is a clear indicator of not being ready.
Besides understanding the issues of people, process, culture and tools the overriding issue is one of methods. By what methods do you manage, communicate, measure and make needed adjustments? Methods reflect managements knowledge and if you are using the wrong methods well you’ll get the wrong results. The method of management has evolved and is constantly changing with the aim of improvement. When markets shift methods have to change because the old method simply cannot respond or satisfy the market demands.
New Methods Require New Knowledge
You cannot adjust to revolutionary change by applying old thinking. Social technology is changing everything because everything is fueled by communications. Social media is communications but a new method that requires new knowledge if you want to tap into the power of effective and efficient communications. Who and what is communicating to you and about you. Everything and everyone.
This new method is more powerful than any other communications medium in the history of mankind. Why? Because it has reach and influence beyond traditional media and is grounded in trust, relations and honesty. It appeals to the very fabric of human nature and avoids anti-social behavior. Anti-social behavior is when your organization constrains people with bad processes, a closed and controlled culture, a lack of tools to do things right and management methods that lack knowledge and common sense.
You may discount all this and ignore its importance to your performance meaning your bottom line. Then again if you don’t understand these simply things then you are likely to discount them as irrelevant and unimportant to getting you the results you so desperately want. By the way, how are your results? If you want them to improve then you’ll have to change the methods otherwise nothing will improve. Get it?