Leaders: surf on social networks to not get carried away by the wave!

LEADERS AND THE WAVE

Equity risk, marketing, legal or image… Rather than see his heckled by sounding social networking reputation, the manager can choose to engage proactively on social networks.

The leader is a media

The question is no longer whether lightning may fall, but where and how it will hit! Power reaction online for about a DG can affect, temporarily or long term, the market price of his company or brand perception .

Capitalizing on the transformational power of social media while mitigating its risks calls for a new type of leader. The dynamics of social media amplify the need for qualities that have long been a staple of effective leadership, such as strategic creativity, authentic communication, and the ability to deal with a corporation’s social and political dynamics and to design an agile and responsive organization.

Social media also adds new dimensions to these traits. For example, it requires the ability to create compelling, engaging multimedia content. Leaders need to excel at co-creation and collaboration—the currencies of the social-media world. Executives must understand the nature of different social-media tools and the unruly forces they can unleash.

Equally important, there’s an organizational dimension: leaders must cultivate a new, technologically linked social infrastructure that by design promotes constant interaction across physical and geographical boundaries, as well as self-organized discourse and exchange.

This interplay of leadership skills and related organizational-design principles organizational media literacy, which is defined along six dimensions that are interdependent:

1. The leader as producer

With video cameras achieving near ubiquity and film clips uploading in the blink of an eye to YouTube or other platforms, the tools for producing and sharing rich media are in everyone’s hands. More than a few executives have started to incorporate video streams into their blogs.

2. The leader as distributor

Business leaders have traditionally disseminated information along a controlled, linear chain that begins after the development of a formal meaning-creation process—think of how your company creates and distributes memos explaining new initiatives. While traditional distribution pathways won’t disappear, social media revolutionizes the standard information process by reversing it. Social communication makes distribution the starting point and then invites company audiences to cocreate and contextualize content to create new meaning. Messages are rebroadcast and repurposed at will by recipients who repost videos, retweet and comment on blogs, and use fragments of other people’s content to create their own mash-ups.

3. The leader as recipient

Social media has created an ocean of information. We are drowning in a never-ending flood of e-mails, tweets, Facebook updates, RSS feeds, and more that’s often hard to navigate.

As a first step, leaders must become proficient at using the software tools and settings that help users filter the important stuff from the unimportant. But playing in today’s turbulent environment requires more than just filtering skills.

In traditional corporate communications, consumption is a mostly passive act: you are pretty much left alone to make sense of messages and to assess their authenticity and credibility. In the social-media realm, information gets shared and commented on within seconds, and executives must decide when (and when not) to reply, what messages should be linked to their blogs, when to copy material and mash it up with their own, and what to share with their various communities. The creation of meaning becomes a collaborative process in which leaders have to play a thoughtful part, as this is the very place where acceptance of or resistance to messages will be built.

4. The leader as adviser and orchestrator

In most companies, social-media literacy is in its infancy. Excitement often runs high for the technology’s potential to span functional and divisional silos. But without guidance and coordination, and without the capabilities we discuss here, social-media enthusiasm can backfire and cause severe damage.

To harvest the potential of social media, leaders must play a proactive role in raising the media literacy of their immediate reports and stakeholders. Within this 360-degree span, executives should become trusted advisers, enabling and supporting their environment in the use of social tools, while ensuring that a culture of learning and reflection takes hold. As a new and media-savvy generation enters the workplace, smart leaders can accelerate organizational change by harnessing these digital natives’ expertise through “reverse mentoring” systems.

5. The leader as architect

Leaders who have steeped themselves in new media will testify that it requires them to navigate between potentially conflicting goals: they must strive to establish an organizational and technical infrastructure that encourages free exchange but also enforce controls that mitigate the risks of irresponsible use. This is a tough organizational-design challenge.

Most companies have a defined formal organization, with explicit vertical systems of accountability. But below the surface of org charts and process manuals we find an implicit, less manageable “informal organization,” which has always been important and now gets amplified through social media. The leader’s task is to marry vertical accountability with networked horizontal collaboration in a way that is not mutually destructive.

6. The leader as analyst

As companies start to digest the consequences of the Web 2.0 revolution, the next paradigm shift is already knocking on the door. The next generation of connectivity—the Internet of Things—will link together appliances, cars, and all kinds of objects. As a result, there will be about 50 billion connected devices by the year 2020.3 This transformation will open new opportunities, spawn new business models, and herald yet another major inflection point that leaders must manage.

It’s imperative to keep abreast of such emerging trends and innovations—not just their competitive and marketplace implications, but also what they mean for communications technologies, which are fundamental for creating an agile, responsive organization. Executives who monitor weak signals and experiment with new technologies and devices will be able to act more quickly and capture the advantages of early adoption.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

About olivierlehe

Passion for Innovations

4 responses to “Leaders: surf on social networks to not get carried away by the wave!”

  1. Leticia says :

    Appreciate it! This is definitely an astonishing web page.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: