First some clarity. Being cognisant of the person behind the message and that further communication is usually necessary will keep a clear focus on the value of social networking. Whether this takes further entries (such as this) a telephone call or a personal visit it depends on the message and the circumstance. A quick example.
Attending Gnomedex a few years ago and recent NorthernVoices you realize a true advantage of where the cutting edge is going. A keynote or seminar is presented and while the presentation is happening Flickr is being uploaded with pictures, blogs are being posted to, wikis are updated and the electronic interaction is almost overwhelming. All of these entries contribute to the presentation. Everyone has their laptop open and the bandwith is phenomenal. You can begin to see who the person is behind the name tag and it is a unique experience. This social networking has now expanded with YouTube and Twitter etc. and I daresay is only the beginning.
Maybe I should have said human networking instead of social networking but I didn’t want to divorce one from the other. Senior execs need to be challenged, big time. Remember ‘customer relationship management’ and what that has come to mean or MIS, ‘management information systems’? Ron is right — we do need to take some of the confusion out of the term. Social networking as it applies to technology is a great unknown by most and that is really too bad because by beginning to use it, by taking advantage of it, we as credit unions, which is the credit union members, can begin to re-create what financial service is.
So what will this collective communication bring us? The power to listen and listen better. One of the problems with listening is that it does take time. Relationships are created by human interaction. One universal concern we need to listen to is what people think about line ups. They hate them. Everybody hates them. They waste time. People don’t want to converse with anyone when they have been standing in line for 10 minutes waiting. They now want to get the business done and move on. If they didn’t have to wait they would spend those few extra found minutes talking and we could then explore those needs and wishes that would seed innovation. But some executive think success is measured by the length of the line up. “We must be busy, great! Just look at that lineup.” Social networking will put concerns like this right in front of us for all to see. The challenge is what are we going to do with them? Will be act, re-act or ignore?
Those that have attempted to build their organizations on vision and values will readily embrace these challenges social networking offers. Those that don’t need to maybe do something else. Something happened with Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 and Ron, Tim and William have got it. What about the others?