What Sells CEOs on Social Networking?

Social Networking

I read a great article today I wanted to share with you. It’s called ‘What Sells CEOs on Social Networking‘. It’s an interview between David Kiron, executive editor of Innovation Hubs at MIT SMR and MIT Sloan’s Andrew McAfee. In 2006, McAfee coined the termed “Enterprise 2.0” as a way of describing the impact of blogging, twitter, wikis, etc on business and the push toward collaboration. He’s also written a well-regarded book by the same name.

McAfee suggests there are three main triggers for CEOs when considering to employ social networking in their organisations. And, I’ll summarise these here…

1 Be More Productive

McAfee quotes Lew Platt, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard. Platt asked: “If only HP knew what HP knows, we’d be three times more productive.” Using collaboration tools like blogs and wikis enables you to share knowledge amongst your team and collectively build and share organisational knowledge.

2 Build Network Value

There’s value in knowing other people and being able to access their thoughts, ideas and knowledge. This used to be limited to face to face connection and strong ties – knowing fewer people in a deeper way. Today, the value of weak ties – knowing more people more lightly – is more accessible through social networking.

3 Manage Generational Change

As the teenagers of today who grew up with Facebook and twitter enter the workforce, they’re going to expect to continue working this way in their employment. Therefore, to win the ongoing war on talent you’ll want to learn how to collaborate with them too!

Being Social

What’s your big reason for using social networking? For many of us, it’s to be social. McAfee makes the point that ‘social’ is often what scares CEOs off social networking. It conjures having fun and wasting time. Whilst is great at an individual level, your business reasons are likely to be different.

What’s Your Business Reason?

And, this is the point of this article. To have you check why you spend time on social networking sites. In particular, what’s the business objective you’re out to achieve?

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