This slide show from Stephen Collins make me think about teaching Internet Skills Workshops for Nonprofits that I used teach over dozen or so years ago. During a discussion about the merits of email versus the fax machine (I'm not kidding), someone shared this insight, "I feel like a stranger in a foreign country and I don't understand the language." It has stuck with me.
The slide show is from a session he did at BarCamp Sydney called "All You Do Is Talk Talk Talk." He talking about building shared language and understanding in order to successfully introduce a change (adoption of social media principles and tools) in an organization. He suggests that resistance will remain because people don't understand, feel stupid, don't speak the language, don't have a compelling reason for change, or feel insecure. The advice is don't speak social media geek, speak in simple English, be a bridge, establish trust, and become the understanding guru.
There aren't detailed notes accompanying the slide show, so I'm not sure which theoretical change models may rest beneath. I am thinking about the Concerns-Based Adoption Model which is based on extensive research on why science teachers didn’t universally adopt new curricula.
What is Twitter?
Is it worth it?
How does it work?
How does this impact my job?
How can I master it? How can I fit it into my job?
Is there a better way to do this?
I'm sure there are other change theories that lie beneath and can be used help get people on board about social media.
Almost two weeks ago, I put out a query for blogging and social media policies. Many people shared examples, but nothing much about change management. Do you simply need some social media policy boilerplate that you can cut and paste or is there value to the discussion? Blue Avocado has a post describing the content of a blogging policy and some of the legal issues. Beth Dunn responded with some of change issues pinpointing some of the concerns:
- Employees will say bad things about the organization (sponsors, vendors, customers, etc.);
- Customers/constituents will say bad things about the organization (sponsors, staff, vendors, etc.);
- Employees will tell secrets.
Stewart Mader points out that these concerns have one theme in common - control. He goes onto say:
Companies need to realize that they can’t control what people say about them. If a product sucks, customers already tell each other - if not in public then in private. If the work environment sucks, employees will talk about it with each other, and with family and friends.
What companies can control is the quality of their products, services, work environments, and cultures. And if those are all good, they’ll have nothing to worry about when it comes to social media.
If you've ever tried to encourage your nonprofit to adopt a social media strategy, you well know that a change in organizational culture needs to take place. Sometimes this change happens very very very slowly - like watching paint dry. Sometimes the organization's culture and leadership will accelerate this change. Some practice stealth adoption - launching an under the radar pilot and showing the success.
What method did you use to convince your ED/organization to adopt social media strategy? What were the problems? How did you solve them? What advice would you offer others?