CHAPTER 3 Mindshift: from ‘so what’ to ‘social’

Exposing the myths about social media is helpful but we also have to look at how factors in the broader environment contribute to an anti-social mindset. These factors include:

  • traditional business practices
  • the unprecedented, accelerating speed of change
  • high uncertainty and ambiguity
  • fear.

Traditional business practices

Executives make data-driven investment decisions and manage risk. Ironically these qualities, vital for success, are the same ones that have kept them out of social media.

The way we do business

An example is data-driven strategy. While traditionally this approach has given companies a strategic edge, the kind of business intelligence required to back moves into social media was simply not available when social media first erupted. It was a place where people went to talk to other people. Who needed to measure that? Of course, we forgot that people speaking to people pretty much underpins everything that happens in life. And social media grew fast. By the time business had recognised this, the horse had already bolted.

First movers took leaps in the dark and learned as they went along; some soared and at times some crashed. We all learned from the early adopters. Not all organisations, however, are suited or open to experimenting. The location, size, infrastructure, risk appetite, culture and leadership of a company all influence how willingly it will embrace change and how quickly it is capable of adjusting. ...

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