Does the use of social media in the workplace benefit organizations and educational institutions and help productivity or hamper productivity? That's a question many leaders and educators are debating in organizations, even while students and employees immerse themselves in social media for both personal and business purposes.
" How much work can 'hyper-socializing' employees really accomplish if they are holding multiple conversations with others via text-messaging or obsessively checking social networking sites?" That's a question that John Agno in his Leadership Blog, recently asked.
His reply was, "They can accomplish a great deal in today's 24/7 virtual environment. The Gen Xs and Ys have a gift for multitasking (because they have integrated technology into their lives) and now have the ability to remain connected to each other and thus serve themselves and their employers well."
What about business use of social media?
Business.com released additional results of its milestone study of social media usage across American business, this time with a focus on B2B (business to business). This research should put an end to the argument over the relevance of social media in the industrial sector. In fact, it appears that by percentage, B2B is ahead of B2C (business to customer) in some key categories. This report is full of details by industry, job type, and social media platform. It’s significant because of the scope of the study and the statistical rigor applied to the results. The study showed a statistically significant difference in social media activity with B2B’s dominating in 11 out of 14 social media categories. So obviously, organizations are seeing the value of social media, and are attempting to leverage that advantage for business purposes. If social media is beneficial to business, why would they try to restrict its use for employees?
In many ways the issue of social media is one of determining who establishes both the value and need for products and services--the business supplier, which has been the norm till now, or the consumer/client, which has become the new paradigm?
The impact of social technology on business as usual is and will continue to be profound. Instead of the old model of change, from the inside out, the new model of change is from the outside in. Markets are shifting at the speed of a mouse click. These markets represent the rate of interest change (both economic interest and consumer interest) and the interest is changing based on the consumption of information and knowledge. The voice of the customer used to be analyzed based on old feedback mechanisms and survey’s which were poorly designed and time-consuming. Today, the voice of the customer is instant, transparent and designed by the content and context of open and transparent conversations. The new world of instant communications controlled and influenced by the end consumer is the outside force forcing fueling organizational changes for those businesses wishing to thrive or survive. However, the pace and strength of these outside forces is changing the very change models used before by the leading management consulting firms and organizational change gurus.
McKinsey, one of the top management consulting firms in the world, is changing their approach to the creation and implementation of organizational change models. Organizations will have to learn change is now a permanent process and the only thing that should be managed is the rate in which you adjust to it. Not adjusting or accepting that change is permanent means you’ll be left by those that do.