Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Implementing Social: don't use the C-word

The C-word is being used quite frequently these days. I have had quite a few dialogues and discussions about it, and it almost looks like the C-word is the new black - or white, in this case

To me, it shows that Social is hitting mainstream and getting implemented here and there. Maybe the evangelists are now slowly turning into, or supported by, priests and monks to support phase number two and three of the Movement - and hitting a brick wall

For why is the C-word in such frequent use? Some even talk about Desired Culture, versus simply Culture

In my view, Culture isn't a topic. If you name Culture as a player in any game, you're bound to use the word Change as well. "Culture needs to Change!" will be one of your beloved sentences, bulleted in big font on a slide.
I don't believe in change. I believe in growth. Change is destructive, growth is constructive - did you ever see a flower or tree change?

I believe in Social. I believe in proximity and intimacy, I believe in love over fear. I believe in people speaking for themselves, with others, forming their own opinions amidst the storm of broadcasted marketing that has been flooding us since decades. Do I see people doing so? Hardly, at least by far not enough in my opinion. I follow people on Twitter who do so, I unfollow those who don't and just RT one another under the mantra "I scratch your back you scratch mine" - how very 1.0

I don't believe in Social Business
- for now. I firmly believe in a business case for enterprises where employees are kept just not dissatisfied enough, where egos and sociopaths or clueless run the show, having turned themselves into stakeholders, taking that role from the shareholders.
I believe in people willing to risk company profit in exchange for a few caressing strokes to their ego; there are even people who risk lawsuits against the company just to feel right and get their "justice served" - even if they are dead wrong.
I believe in big enterprises initiating the new year with a fresh rat-race, starting to do their work in March, sleep over the Summer and quickly finish off target- and KPI-related "evidence" in September-October so they can queue up for the musical chairs that will follow in the new year - effectively making use of an entire year during only 6 months, leaving that big company vision and roadmap to the roadmappers and visonaries themselves

Enterprise 2.0 was supposed to bring bliss to the enterprise, but never served a clear business case for that, and failed. Social Business was supposed to turn around enterprise and company as we know it, giving power to the people and throwing hierarchy out the window - but it won't.
But at least Social Business is now trying to get itself implemented - and here are the preliminary results:

Low and behold, Social Media Management Systems arise, Trojaning a Social Media Manager into the People Power Enterprise - and no one seems to bother or even wonder about slapping on yet another layer of management onto the beloved Company X.0, ruining it even before it has been born

Apart from that, the People-Process-Technology mantra gets sung, and all of a sudden Culture has to Change. That sounds almost exactly like forcing yourself onto someone else, demanding them to change for your benefit. Don Miguel Ruiz has spoken wise words about this: if you want a cat, buy a cat, don't change your dog into a cat - it is far more efficient and effective to just get what you want, in stead of changing things you have now and "create them after your own image".
Do you want a Changed Culture in the enterprise? Provide them with a compelling business case so they are willing to grow to that desired outcome themselves, and turn back to your hammock, padding a shoulder here and there when needed

What surprises me most lately is people knowing what's best for other people without following up their own advice. How would you like to Change your own Culture, just because some unknown dressed in Klout Perks said so? You don't, do you? You would rather get a few @replies and RT's from them so your own sKore would augment and you can join the hordes of Culture-Changing evangelists that used to be self-proclaimed experts in Social Media just an hour before.
What happened to the "Listen to your customer" adagium - or is that just one of those rules we make for others and except ourselves from it at the same time?

Cultures don't change. Cultures grow. Provide them with the proper nourishment and they'll turn into any form you want

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