links for 2007-12-29

links for 2007-12-28

links for 2007-12-23

links for 2007-12-14

Considering the Individual

I just read Stowe Boyd’s post, Enterprise Software Is Unsexy: Because It’s Not About Individuals, But Groups. Looking at it wearing  my Enterprise Communication Strategy goggles, I see some interesting corollary’s. Stowe is primarily talking about software design and my post is about how organizations choose to express themselves. But in reality we are talking about the same thing, treating people as people and not as their function, role, job, etc. People are inherently social , meaning that the nature of the relationship between individuals is a key criteria to the effectiveness of their interactions.

When software design, or communication plans, do not consider the social aspect and individuality of their intended “audience”, there is little chance that audience will become an engaged community. Now if the design objective is strictly about efficiency, compliance or risk management, maybe this approach is good enough. If the objective has anything to do with learning, engagement, innovation, etc., consideration of the individual as a social entity becomes critical.

Corporate Blog Council

CHICAGO, December 6, 2007 — The Blog Council, a professional community of top global brands dedicated to promoting best practices in corporate blogging, officially launched today.

Where was this when I still worked for a big corporation?   😦

OK, I want to think I have a bit of insight here, having spent the last year promoting the use of Social Media at GSK. The first thing that jumps out at me is the myopic focus on “blogs”, as if that is the only new media channel through which the enterprise has to speak with “the masses”. OK, let’s give the benefit of the doubt. Let’s assume that blog is a euphemism for all social media tools (like when I grew up all soft drinks were referred to as “Coca-Cola”). Even this is short-sighted because the inherent supposition is that it is all about the delivery mechanism, the technology.

The real shift that needs to be discussed by these corporate executives is the mindset behind their approach to what is communicated. The watch words should be openness, authenticity, honesty, not blogs and RSS. Until people understand that the real change, that is being highlighted  by social media, is about listening to and understanding customers/stakeholders and not just another messaging channel, we will not see anything significant from the Blog Council.

Enterprise Communication Strategy, 2

The role of ECS is part traditional Marketing Communications, part Organization Development, part IT and part Strategic Planning. Interesting mix. Can’t say that I have ever seen those four disciplines together in the same room at the same time working together. Sounds like fun.

Enterprise Communications Strategy

Enterprise Communications Strategy has a nice ring to it. That is what I want to do.

So what is “Enterprise Communications” and how is it different from “Corporate Communications”? I think we all have a picture of Corp. Comms, the mouthpiece of the company. That is not what I am talking about. For me Enterprise Communications is about little “c” communications. It is about looking at the fundamentals and asking what is the purpose of communications, and what is the best way to communicate. It is about looking at the mission/vision/objectives of the enterprise and figuring out how to align the way an organization communicates with the M/V/O. It is more about listening than talking. It is about connecting with people, or as Scoble says, putting a human face on the organization.

In many cases the solutions will lie in social media, but not always. So ECS is not just another euphemism for social media, but social media may well be a tactic of a good Enterprise Communications Strategy.

I see ECS as dealing with communication both inside and outside the firewall. Doesn’t it make sense that an organization use the same principles of communications for employees and customers?

I like where this is going. More thoughts to come…

Leaving GSK

As you may have read in the news, GlaxoSmithKline is undergoing a global reorganization. As part of that effort, my position with the company has been eliminated. My active work with the company will last for about another week. My official term of employment will continue until early February 2008. In the meamtime, I will be making contacts and considering my options.

As to what is next, here is what I know. I plan to move forward working in the social media and/or enterprise 2.0 space. Not sure what that will look like, but then that is part of the adventure. I will post more in the next few days giving more thought about what I want to do.

So here goes the beginning of the next chapter…