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September 24, 2009

When Culture and Social Media Collide

In this post: Jaimy recaps Blue Door’s recent Webinar for WOMMA that covered the impact a company’s internal culture has on its social media success …

UPDATE! The slidecast of the Webinar is now available for viewing here.

Jaimy SyzmanskiFirst off, a big “thank you” to all who listened in on Blue Door Consulting’s Webinar on Wednesday for WOMMA titled, Culture Clash: Getting to the root of social media woes and implementing a strategy for change. We hope you were able to walk away with some useful action steps to implement within your own organization.

I thought I would recap the Webinar here, for those who missed it or simply like to hear the summary rather than spend an hour listening to Heidi and me. I’ll try not to take offense to that. Really.

The Webinar covered the nine steps Blue Door uses when helping an organization implement an internal change – specifically, when shifting to a more open culture that is prime for social media adoption.

The nine steps covered were:

  1. Build your case for change. Demonstrate to leadership that social media is the right direction, and that adaptability is what keeps a business thriving. A case for change (feasibility study) needs to be made.
  2. Start with the big dogs. Garner leadership’s support – total top-down commitment, complete with an allocation of resources. Without leadership support, your overall social media efforts will pale in comparison to an organization that has the weight of its decision-makers to back it up.
  3. Pinpoint change agents. Form a “change team” who are ready and willing to stand behind the idea of real cultural change and be its ambassadors. Building this team is crucial to ensuring your plan’s development, implementation and integration are a success.
  4. Craft your vision and plan. Creating a vision and a plan for what your team and the organization will accomplish together.
  5. Don’t shut up about it. Encourage the change team to capitalize on every opportunity to talk about, and act upon, the vision and plan for cultural change to a more open environment.
  6. Defuse resistance bombs. When you start to change core elements of an organization’s operations, there will be employee resistance and push-back. Getting as much employee buy-in as possible is crucial in defusing some of the resistance bombs.
  7. Get moving! Implement and put the plan into action.
  8. Give a taste of victory. Begin to relish in the sweet taste of victory – small victories that is – and share them with the organization to build momentum and support.
  9. Never stop improving. Continue to keep your eye on the prize, and work for the ideal open environment. Evaluate and adjust goals as needed, based on the analysis of your successes and failures.

Going though a change process is crucial to social media success. Why? Because, in the case of social media – a very open, transparent method of communication and marketing – it will always clash with an internal culture that follows a more traditionally closed model.

The bottom line is: Social media cannot reach its full potential within an organization using it for business purposes unless it is supported by a complementary set of internal cultural values.
The slides will soon be available, complete with accompanying in-depth podcast, thanks to our WOMMA contact Steve Ziemba (Great guy – follow him on Twitter!). I’ll update this post when they’re ready for viewing.
Thanks again for listening in, and a big “thank you” to WOMMA for hosting!