Social Media, Coming Soon To Your Workplace?


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Social media is making it easier than ever to find a mentor and learn, to network with other people and organizations, or to take ownership of whatever interests us. Individuals and corporations are coming to prominence and losing everything–virtually overnight.

This is a brand new world; but it also reflects Americans’ centuries-old need to become authentically engaged with one another in associations.

In 1835 the French traveler and writer Alexis de Tocqueville published a book about his travels around the new nation in his epochal book Democracy in America. He opened Chapter V with this observation:

“Americans of all ages, all conditions, and all dispositions constantly form associations. They have not only commercial and manufacturing companies, in which all take part, but associations of a thousand other kinds, religious, moral, serious, futile, general or restricted, enormous or diminutive. The Americans make associations to give entertainments, to found seminaries, to build inns, to construct churches, to diffuse books, to send missionaries to the antipodes; in this manner they found hospitals, prisons, and schools. If it is proposed to inculcate some truth or to foster some feeling by the encouragement of a great example, they form a society. Wherever at the head of some new undertaking you see the government in France, or a man of rank in England, in the United States you will be sure to find an association.”

Sounds something like social media, doesn’t it?

In one sense American history has always been driven by associations–BPOEs, Rotary, KKK, AAA, countless national non-profits, etc. From this perspective, social media might be merely the newest manifestation of our passion for associations; the harbinger of a real paradigm shift fueled by that passion.

Are Americans really hardwired to associate? If so, using social media principles and culture in the workplace might not be much of a stretch.

The internet and social media are already changing the business landscape. And we’re just getting started. Businesses will have to adjust to accommodate self-educating employees and their new expectations of greater professional engagement and room for new causes. More employee input will change the way work gets done, and businesses grow.

So a new human-scale tool is called for, one that can foster stakeholders’ active involvement even in traditionally lackluster corporate programs like Quality, Safety etc.

Over the last few months I’ve seen this kind of tool help a company identify a strong, inclusive and unique new core message. Any progressive CEO can use it to nurture a homegrown culture in his or her company that enriches even the most unstable business environment, by presenting change as a cause worth supporting.

Every day the brick-and-mortar business model loses credibility or relevance; even CEOs now come and go like temps, and public distaste for secretive shenanigans keeps growing.

In the future, corporate cultures once established by corporate leaders like GE’s Jack Welch or Delta Airlines’ Tom Beebe–visionaries who persuaded their stakeholders to accept powerful new brands–will be crafted by startling combinations of employees, managers, executives and even customers.

Here’s a prediction for the next decade: the social media phenomenon will outgrow its digital playpen, fostering a renaissance of associations and business innovation that Alexis de Tocqueville would really appreciate.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Carey Giudici
Betterwords for Business
Carey has a unique, high-energy approach to help small business owners, entrepreneurs and in-transition professionals make their Brand and content achieve superior results in the social media. He calls it "Ka-Ching Coaching" because the bottom line is always . . . your bottom line. He has developed marketing and training material for a Fortune 5 international corporation, a large public utility, the Embassy of Japan, the University of Washington, and many small businesses and entrepreneurs.


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