All posts tagged “open management”

Social Media: Experience is nothing, Ability is everything

social media drinks

Please excuse the sensationalist headline but i was interested in exploring the perceptions around experience and ability. Now i know that experience counts for a lot but then so does ability, but how do you identify true ability in an individual who works in a relatively new sector such as ‘social media‘. It’s become an area where as the need for social media experience has grown so has the number of people now work in social media or at least have the word ‘social‘ in their title.

I think both are ultimately vital in any role, not just social media but recently i was thinking about open management and open leadership and how possibly, a degree of experience could potentially be a negative thing. Experience is rarely thought about as a negative but I’m simply ‘throwing it out there’, maybe it can be.

So, i better explain myself….

The cons of being experienced

Change. Simple as that. But we’re not talking about small changes or changes between roles what we are talking about is fundamental shifts in how businesses are approaching social media and openness within their organisation’s. If you have been used to a ‘command & control’ system, which lets face it, most of us have then change can be very hard. We’re slowly (very slowly) moving towards a system where it doesn’t matter what title you have but more so how well networked you are – thus enabling to you to better communicate and gain/share information across the business. This shouldn’t be at all surprising though, as those who are the most connected outside of work are often the most able to get things done, get access to new tools and services and get new work when needed.

The cons of inexperience

The cons are obvious, when you are inexperienced it’s much easier to make mistakes aka ‘school-boy errors’ or perhaps worse, not even know where to start! But if you have the ability you can quickly learn from those mistakes and move things forward. You’re also more likely to recognise them as mistakes in the first place. OK, so I’ve started to talk about the positives again now! Inexperience is also closely related to age and perceptions of experience. The usual syndrome – “the younger you are – the less experienced you are”. This because experience is often measured in days/months/years, something quantitative, tangible, easy to measure. What is harder to take into account is qualitative experience but it counts for so much.

Last Words

A final word, experience is easier to gain than ability. So as long as you have ability and continue to be a ‘thought leader’ then the experience will come. The work you put into learning every day will pay dividends in the future. Ignorance in social media is definitely not bliss.

What do you think? Will there always be dinosaurs in whatever industry you work? Does ability really mean more than experience or am i wrong? Have your say in the comments.

Brand Reputation: The Facilitation of Acknowledgement

Japanese Semaphore Acknowledge

This post was inspired by a recent experience I had on the London Underground in which I swiped my Oyster card to go down to the platform only to find that the platform had been cordoned off. I then went up and back through the barriers only to be charged £1.10 for the privilege. If you follow me on twitter you might have seen my tweets declaring how such a charge is fundamentally wrong! Yes, I know you can potentially claim it back but why is it the role of the customer (remember we are TFL’s customers) to go through the rigmarole of getting our own money back for a service we never received. My first conclusion was that there should perhaps be a window in which you are not charged – this could actually help overcrowding on platforms when our beloved underground inevitably breaks. But then I began thinking, such a problem could be partly solved by better display and sharing of information before passing through the barriers thus facilitating my acknowledgement that “I best go get a bus”.

I didn’t want to stop at the above, it links in deeply to my current understanding and principles with regards to User Experience (UX) on the web. Just how important is it that a consumer/user understands what they are signing up for (doesn’t literally have to be a signing up process)? Well, very important it seems. For example, take into account the Facebook fiasco in which they tricked millions of people into changing their privacy settings. It was totally and completely unethical and there was uproar from those who were wise to Facebook’s underhand tactics. Maybe Mark Zuckerberg’s PRly crafted retort about how “the age of privacy is dead‘ had a point but you can’t make that decision for other people. All too frequently we see a lack of facilitation of acknowledgement on the web and i think this comes from an outdated way of thinking, in which consumers are marginalised to the outside of a business and expected to accept whatever the business throws at the them. We’ve seen a slow change in how businesses market themselves shifting from a ‘broadcast’ model to a ‘social’ one but it’s slowly becoming time for business to act in a similar way from the core. It’s going to take a long time, but it IS going to happen.

Imagine if there were no more small print? Or at least the things we knew were going to annoy us were clearly defined before we offered any level of commitment. I can only imagine how many businesses would suddenly find themselves batting on a sticky wicket. Maybe there should be a wikileaks for terms and conditions? The point is, that if a person was allowed to decide for themselves at the beginning then the opportunity to complain, the very need to complain would be undermined. Is that not a good thing for brand reputation?

One day i think we will begin to see this level of openness begin to emerge but until then, have think about how you could improve the facilitation of acknowledgement yourself. What would you or you business do differently? Or what should a particular company do differently?

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