I know I’ve talked about this in the past, but recent meetings with new and potential clients has again raised this issue.
In short, why would you *not* want to let evangelists for your company within your company walls help solve customer problems? The potential benefits far outweigh the potential risks – and even the US military agrees with me, letting its troops have access to the sites because there are more good vibes resulting from becoming involved in the social media/networking space, they reckon, than bad vibes.
Sure, people do dumb stuff, but people have done dumb stuff since Adam and Eve first developed a penchant for apples, but if there were no risks to communication technology then we’d never have gotten past banging the rocks together.
What humans have proven themselves particularly apt at is adapting themselves and their behaviour to each new communication environment as it emerges: Gutenberg, recordings, telephones, radio, moving pictures, television, cassettes, vhs, cd, dvd, fax machines, photocopiers, the pc… Each of these inventions was hailed as having the potential to bring the ruination of civilisation as we know it. As I type this I’m not aware of western civilisation crumbling around my ears…
So too will we adapt to the new communication landscape that social media and social networking has rolled out in front of us. What employees need are sensible policies and guidelines put in place by sensible management that give security and comfort, so that employees don’t get ‘surprised’ when something they socially share (that they didn’t know they shouldn’t share) suddenly becomes cause for disciplinary action.
Want to know more about those sensible guidelines? Call me and if you’re in Adelaide, Australia, let’s set up a meeting over coffee.