The #1 Restraint To Entering The Social Era

by Jay Deragon on 12/14/2012

If your company strives to lead in the Social Era then fear must be removed from your organization.

Companies that censor employees on social media are only hurting themselves. Use these platforms to build a culture that encourages teamwork, friendship, loyalty and replace fear with FUN.

Many companies that are fearful of social media put muzzles on their employees in an effort to control the social conversation. However in doing so they are sending the wrong message. Do you really think people will keep the muzzle on after work?

Many managers use fear of social media for motivation. Their extreme verbiage includes “Social media is for teenagers, act like a grown up”, “We prohibit our employees from using social media during work hours”, “If you want to chat on Facebook during work hours find somewhere else to work” and my favorite one is “We don’t give stupid people he chance to make us look stupid, don’t say anything about us online!”

Management practices of the past relied on fear to drive the business. But fear caused many internal problems. First, it prevents people from doing what they know should be done and instead they do what someone tells them to do. Second, it forces people to hide mistakes.  Who admits a mistake if there is possible punishment? Next, employees stop engaging around better ways to serve customers, each other and suppliers. Fear drive engagement out and without engagement your left with space void of meaning.

Fear Is The #1 Restraint To Entering The Social Era

Fear of social media is an excuse to not learn, understand and engage in conversations that represent an enlightened understanding of the Social Era.   Unless management understands the dynamics of the Social Era then their minds and hearts will fear the changes on the horizon.

The irony of the moment is that while some organizations and their managers discount all things social the reason is because they fear what they do not understand. Their fear is not about social media rather it represents the fear of losing control and power over people.

Meanwhile the employees are embracing the meaning and value created by the Social Era. Its meaning is more about collaboration rather than control. It’s about empowerment rather than individual power. It is about being fearless rather than fearful. The value is not one thing or one moment rather it is the freedom to express individual and collective value in people and things they find valuable.


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