Social media – the next dimension #cipdnap15

At this year’s NAP conference we are delighted to welcome Perry Timms, who, among his many other roles, is Adviser to the CIPD on social media and engagement.   He will be leading our final keynote speech on Saturday; ‘Social Media – the next dimension’.

Here is a taster from Perry about his view on all things social.

Facebook and YouTube; we’ve seen the gradual embracing by the conventional media of what was once called new media.  We’ve seen the dark and light, the power and perversion of social networks.

We are though seeing the rise of social in almost all aspects of our life, and that technology appears to be driving it is neither wholly the case or wildly inaccurate.  It’s a combination of the working technologies of the 20th century – not just electronic, computerised or digital but management, processes like lean – being eschewed in favour of more agile, collaborative technologies including digital platforms that puts the me back into teamwork and takes the lo out of solo, email pursuits where the only team dynamics were the annual plank-walking away day and the drain of life that has become team meetings.

I don’t need to tell you why the way we’re working isn’t totally working.  

But how do we let the social still equal productive and effective whilst being more human and wholesome?

Just a quick one thought: you may have even tried social in your place of work or for yourself and quickly defaulted back to email and the likes.   This happened with phoning people over surfing the web for answers; and a manual diary over an online calendar.  With exceptions, norms like search engines and online diaries make it almost incomprehensible we resisted this shift.  Sometimes things embed quicker than others and because the brain is essentially finding the easiest option, sometimes that will be lazy and stick to your current defaults.  Rewiring takes time, but can be, and in my experience is, so worth it.

So, if you’ve tried before, you might want to try again and keep trying.  Social technologies only reveal their FULL impact when you’re in with them for a longer haul than a couple of experiments.

I’ve got 4 areas that will be recognisable to all of you:

Social for Recruiting.  And not just sourcing, but your “brand proposition”, grad schemes whatever.  If you’re not talking about yourself on social or your people are not allowed to talk about you, it is going on anyway.  No need to move all your hiring into this area but have a plan; experiment with more than LinkedIn and see what you get; norm and sustain things like your Twitter presence and YouTube utilisation and it will pay off.  One leaflet did not a market produce.  As is with social media and recruiting.

Social Media for Engagement.  A logical next step but communication and dialogue with your people is ever more important alongside your customer and supplier relationships.  Why know more about what your customers think than your own people?  Ridiculous scenario.  Once a year, or even pulse engagement surveys just aren’t good enough anymore.  People will deliver amazing things when they feel they belong, understand and are listened to.  Engagement isn’t enough.  Involvement.  How do you create employee involvement?  In some extreme cases organisations move to self-organised teams in making more of less radical concepts – it’s EI that counts.  Employee Involvement.

Social Media for Learning.  THE bounty of insight is something you’ll hear about from Dave Coplin – the deluge.  Yet within the social world for learning, it’s like nothing we’ve ever seen before.  It’s the musical equivalent of digital downloads.  Every song ever, available to play when you went at the click of a search function or the creation of a playlist.  Overwhelming choice?  Sure but if you’ve created a network of discerning DJs from different genres, you have those enthusiasts and experts doing some of your filtering legwork.  Clay Shirky – famous thought leader in information and technology says “we don’t have an information overload problem.  It’s a problem in filtering.  SO much insight you can do your MBA through Twitter, pick up MOOCs and blogs to the envy of previous generations inability to unlock the insight from academia, and find a video clip on YouTube for every conceivable scenario manager face in the world of work.

Social Media for Work.  Probably the most controversial frontier.  How can you use this “like” and share mentality for work?  It’s all play, entertainment and trivia surely?  Well now.  Software as a Service – SaaS is all about work tools built from the bottom up around social media constructs.  Asana, Google Docs, 4th Office, Podio, Trello, Sharepoint, Evernote, Dropbox, Slack, Quip, even What’s App is redefining HOW we do our work.  It’s driving some CIOs mad and exciting others.  No doubts, and I am living proof of this as a freelancer, the range of helpful digital tools makes for more productivity, more collaborative ways of working and much more energy in things that (like say project management) weren’t very exciting but necessary.  Digital apps make them more dynamic, less laborious like the musical analogy playlist and less concept album.

BE SOCIAL to GET SOCIAL and MAKE SOCIAL work for you, your team and your organisation.

I’ll leave you with a quote from the very venerable Don Tapscott author and digital pioneer – this is not an information age, it’s an age of collective intelligence.

There is still time to book to hear Perry at CIPD NAP 15 – more detail here!

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