Friday, February 12, 2010

Social Management: Moving Beyond Social Media

Companies nowadays focus a lot of attention on social media, but it is typically directed at external audiences. We use websites and blogs and twitter to connect with customers, but we fail to look internally and to investigate ways in which we can use the electronic media to enhance internal administration and communications.

This frustrates me as there are some excellent online tools that could be of great value to organizations of all shapes and sizes. As a result, I was delighted to read Does Your Company Need a Digital Readiness Checklist by Jeffrey Rayport.

Rayport poses the question, “What impact has digital had on what you offer your customers or clients, how you interact with them, and, perhaps most critically, how you lead and manage yourselves?” He goes on to provide a checklist of points to start you thinking about how you could use electronic media tools to function more effectively.

For example:

• Do day-to-day communications rely on extended voice-mail and lengthy face-to-face meetings or e-mail, IM, phone, and concise face-to-face meetings?

• Does corporate culture encourage information hoarding or information sharing? What social media features are you using to encourage collaboration and crowd-sourcing of ideas (e.g. firm-wide social bookmarking and tagging)?

I believe there’s an urgent need for greater discussion and information sharing on this topic. There are some great digital tools, and so many managers aren’t aware of them. For example, I would love to see more offices sharing articles from their RSS feeds, using project management software, and finding electronic substitutes for face-to-face meetings.

What do you think? What electronic tools are you using to increase organizational effectiveness?

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