Social Media and its role in larger organizations

Social Media.  (Maybe I should just stop now while I’m still ahead because this can be a loaded subject.)

Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pintrest, and many others.  All designed to allow individuals to interact with other individuals or groups.  The ability to communicate through a variety of means has never been easier.

You can quickly and easily post about your lunch, send out a funny thought, laugh with others over cat videos, promote your organization, sell to other like-minded individuals or vent about your day.  Communication is so easy in fact that good judgment can often get thrown out the window before hitting that submit button.  Sure, lots of people would use the tools appropriately but they are the minority.

So now we reach a discussion of the classic 80/20 rule.  80 percent of corporate users are not going to think about the organization before hitting the submit button on that rant about their boss.  Or tweeting how they are blowing off the second half of their day.  Those are the things that irritate organizations.

Because organizations try to manage the 80 percent they lose the value the 20 percent could give them.  The question becomes – what is the opportunity cost of that lost value?  How much money is being left on the table by blanket policies?  I believe that it can be a large number.

Large organizations don’t feel like they have the ability to treat all individuals as individuals.  At some size, policies move from being appropriately tailored to being blanket.  Once you reach that point you stop enabling those employees that would do right by you and they will either stop trying to push the boundaries of innovation – or they will go outside the box and become IT rebels.  The funny thing about IT rebels is that if they are successful they did it in spite of the organization….if they are unsuccessful at getting themselves setup they are often run out for not following the rules.

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