Author: Alasdair Munn
A common complaint from those advocating for the adoption of social media within their workspace is the difficulty they encounter in getting management or executive approval and/or the slow pace of adoption.
All too often our approach to social media advocacy tends to focus too much on social media. In our quest to prove ourselves and have our ideas accepted we run the risk of presenting what amounts to an alien set of tools and concepts to decision makers. These decision makers may often have a very different set of associations and expectations of social media than we do.
A more effective way of getting our message across would be to take a holistic workflow approach rather than a social media approach. Presenting a case for improved productivity, collaboration, communication, cohesion and less wasted resources will gain greater attention, commitment, buy in and resources. It is important to realise that organisational use of social media is not just about customer social interactions. Sure that is part of it, however to support that and realise organisational efficiencies we need to look at the entire organisation from the inside out.
A workflow analysis may incorporate some of the following:
- Analyzing existing workflows,
- Looking at overall organizational objectives,
- Understanding departmental objectives,
- Mapping interdepartmental interactions,
- Analyzing corporate culture,
- Taking into account stakeholder learning styles and preferences,
- Quantifying available resources and so on.
The benefit of this approach is the findings and recommendations will center on needs, taking into account all tools, be their online, offline, traditional, new and provide context while avoiding labels.
I am not advocating a silo approach. Understanding departmental individual needs and work styles/flow is valuable information and the first step to understanding how departments can meet their needs while working towards and integrated organizational effort. A set of common objectives does not equate to an identical application of tool sets.
This thinking is also applicable beyond the internal organization. It makes sense to incorporate all aspects of the organization be it sales channels, channel partners, supply chain management, sales, customer engagement and so on.
Social media does offer a wonderful range of tools and processes to allow us to work smarter, but it is not about social media, it is about satisfying our objectives using a combination of tools and processes, including new, old, online, offline and so on.
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