This post is inspired form informal conversations I had with friends, blogs I read and some that I had commented on… what is this about? Here we go…
I am noting that Social technology is inquired about and adopted first, before taking the time to learn more by questioning and understanding the actual thought process that goes behind using it. We sometimes get impressed with how social tools offer basic but swifter workflow capacities, that we overlook the true potential this technology has to offer. The enabling side of it!
“If you always do what you always did, you’ll always get what you always got.” – Karl Albrecht
How we perceive social technology …
We think social tools are made to alleviate some tasks in our work, or at least we think that, and by simply playing around with them, we will get it and consider that we use the tools well. Not true at all…what’s beneath the social technology surface, or behind the tool, our leadership philosophy turns out to be as important, if not more then the social technologies.
Unfortunately, not all vendors do a great job of explaining the impact on the culture and professional fulfillment opportunities associated with usage of social tools … Who ends up by paying the price? Organizations because of unchanged rigid, closed minded cultures and missed opportunities to drive greater results.
Social Platforms are not like Content authoring tools, or Microsoft office suite tools that deliver functions; the design of Social technology is inclined to offer capabilities that are based on catering to basic working human needs and urges. Some of those working needs are to engage with one another, converse, connect and learn, from one another to grow together. Making work more meaningful.
Yes, there is mindset change that is needed, by realizing that we can’t achieve great results by ourselves. We need each other to make social media at work for us in the workplace.
By adopting values that demonstrate openness to learn, we are able to achieve an important milestone and that is adapting to a new concept of work. One of meeting and working in a domain where the crossings demonstrating leadership and adoption of social technologies thrive. Leadership Behavior and Technology, the two go together
The true power of social technology lies within the end-user, and it is innate; it is powered by our intentions, motivations, our values, not by technology itself. The tools become our instruments, should we decide and know how to play.
Below is a metaphor we can use, to help anyone understand the value of good social technology usage…
Think of a musical instrument, a guitar that costs thousands of dollars, made of the best material and looks very good.
If the player can’t play, does not tune his guitar accordingly, or has bad taste in music, who will ever want to join in, recruit this player in a band, or even listen?
Get the point? Social technologies combined with the right leaders (players) could have an immense reach and influence within communities (musical categories). And if the so called leaders don’t lead well (can’t play), they mind as well kiss the idea of becoming a social organization goodbye, (hello garage band).
Social tools are there to help us mimic collaborative thinking, ( exuding the right sound) play well so to speak, they are not simply there to perform some conventional tasks or be used maliciously ( play bad). Social tools are all about proving the end-user capabilities and opportunities to exude leadership behavior, putting the emphasis on relationship building, value creation and thinking outside the box, everyday to drive the best possible results, collaboratively… Isn’t this what all engaged workers want ?
Our true ways of thinking and being in the workplace will manifest on Social Platforms. These tools, in most cases, tell the truth about us, they are like an X-ray of our internal selves, what we stand for and what our true intentions are.
Understanding what lies beneath the surface of social technologies’ usage, who is using them and how, clarifying their existence’s purpose, and lastly how we measure the returns on usage are all crucial items to think of.
They are considered among the first and right steps in helping drive the change to become a better learning organization, and eventually a social enterprise.