Communicating with someone prior to the digital revolution required a great deal more cryptic information about them than just their name. To find someone somewhere, either in your organisation or outside of it you needed to know (a) their phone number, (b) their email address or (c) their physical address. All of which are based on some sort of numbered or alpha arrangement.
Strangely, even though we have moved into a new technological age with digital connectivity all around us, we are now able to more easily connect with our fellow workers and stakeholders, just by using their name, via socially connected tools.
Social networks, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Jive, Yammer, IBM Connections, have made this possible. Think of technology returning us to the olden times. Times when people only had their name as a way to identify themselves. For many a return to values that epitomise the very essence of mateship and true collaboration.
Christopher Morace – Chief Strategy Officer at Jive Software states in his book “Transform“. “Email will be the last generation of communication that uses Numbers-based (Internet protocol) addressing”. “Today’s social tools, however, don’t require numbers or addresses”. The growing use of photo’s as part of personal profiles adds to the ability to find exactly who you are looking for. Profiles also include additional information such as location, which helps in clearly identifying the person you are searching for.
This new form of communication means we can now find people anywhere on the planet and maintain those relationships for as long as we need to.
This new method of communication has also changed forever the way corporate information is communicated to employees, and external stakeholders. It is no longer necessary to produce email blasts, or expensive printed magazines. Social platforms can now communicate to all stakeholders irrespective of where they are, using a mix of internal and external social networks.
Communication is now not just a one-way update medium. Social networks support the ability for two-way conversations. All recipients of the information now have the ability to respond to the content, to specifically reference individuals and places (using the tagging method) and to be recognised if they so choose.
Once a piece of information is created on a social network, participation around that content can be measured and tracked, (which is the subject of one of my earlier blog posts – Employee incentives for social business participation) leading to social networks supporting a bottom up approach as well as the traditional top down broadcast.
Communication is the lifeblood of an organisation and the more ways it can be encouraged and accommodated, the better. With social networks we have the perfect scenario where the CEO can speak directly with all levels of the organisation, at a group level or in fact on a one to one basis. This level of transparency can only add to a sense of involvement and satisfaction, no matter where you fit in the hierarchy.
The challenge for those organisations that are not aware of what social networks can do for them is to create an environment where they can be exposed to these opportunities. Visit other more progressive organisations, start participating in industry conversations. Look outside to improve within.
Please join me in the discussion.