Professor Anthony Rotolo asked me to skype with his social media class. They want to talk about how students can be effective out in the workforce through the use of social media. I’m not sure social media will be the coolest, hippest thing around town by the time they get established in new jobs. It might be. Or the next coolest thing might be what they offer to their new employers.
So instead, I offer a few tips on how to affect change in organizations, which I think is the real question.
Get to know your new organization’s culture.
- What do you want to see changed?
- What does change look like?
- What does success look like?
- What stands in your way?
Sometimes knowledge stands between status quo and success. Sometimes technology stands in the gap. Most of the time, culture creates the divide.
Explore your organization to understand its culture:
- Status quo.
- Incremental change.
- Some combination of the above.
Your recommendations should reflect the organization’s ability to receive them.
For instance, if the organization is conservative and status quo-oriented, your eagerness to offer change may overwhelm them, causing the organization to shut down the conversation, or worse, shut you out and keep talking with other like-minded folks.
Your goal should be to keep the conversation alive, and to expose them to small doses of change at a time, if that’s all they can absorb.
Always give options:
- Option 1: looks and feels familiar.
- Option 2: feels like home but offers new capabilities.
- Option 3: new look and feel.
Let the organization pick and choose among the options to craft what makes them happy.
Always offer something uncomfortable. If you offer a range from 1-3, the most they can stretch to is #3. If you offer #1-10, #10 may seem so outrageous that they actually pick #6 because it feels so much safer than #10. But they’ve moved twice as far as they would have had the options been safer.
And now, we can talk specifically about social media. Fire away with questions.
Maren Gause from Professor Rotolo’s class posted this blog after class: Social Media in SPAAAACE.
Professor Rotolo’s Blog: @Rotolo Blog: Galactic Guest Appearance