Branding E Quint

Ever since I started thinking about starting my own consulting practice, I have been talking to people to get advice. The one bit of advice I have been getting consistently is to be able to clearly, and quickly, state what irt is that I do (or will do). I am finding that to not be an easy task.

What I know is that there is an opportunity to help organizations rethink their structure and processes. Now I am not the first person to see this, …duh. So the question is what am I bringing to the table? My first response was Social Media expertise. But I think that terminology is going to give me problems on two counts. First, I think it is a difficult conceptual jump for most people to go from Organizational design to Social Media. Secondly, I think the term Social Media is always going to conjure up visions of technology.

So I think I am going to steal a page from the Citizen Agency playbook and start thinking in terms of Community.

Re-Imagine the Organization as Community

My elevator pitch? Let’s take a shot …

I am a consultant that works with organizations to help them look at their structure, processes and culture from a community perspective. I want organizations to consider all of their stakeholders as a single community as opposed to discreet constituents or demographic groups. I want organizations to move away from the traditional “Us vs. Them” mentality: management vs. employees, marketing vs. engineering, customers vs. customer service. I want to see an engaged conversation between stakeholders. And lastly, I want to help facilitate that change.

What do you think?

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Re-Imagine HR

I did a blog search on “issues in HR” the other day and the results were much as I suspected. The big issue that came up time and again was finding key talent. My own experience indicates that recruiters are, in fact, leading the way for adoption of social media in the HR world.

But let’s look at this a little deeper…

Let’s say an organization does a great job of finding the best talent by virtue of their excellent use of social networking. Now they have all of these hot new hires, what next? Once inside the organization, your “leaders of the future” are typically faced with a very traditional, hierarchical organization. If this “hot new talent” is buried under bureaucracy and fighting turf wars, is the organization really making the best use of their abilities.

Come to think of it, maybe we had the right talent on board all along, it was just inaccessible due to the prevailing culture. So let’s take a look at that culture (that is so prevalent in most organizations today).

In almost every organization I am familiar with the things that are rewarded include:

  • Performance (beating your peers)
  • Expertise (hording information)
  • Managing (telling others what to do)

Very seldom do I see sharing, collaboration, or stewardship at the top of the list of how organizations actually behave. I wonder why…? …can you say “compensation and reward systems”?!?

My point here is that organizations are not going to get better and smarter simply by hiring new islands of knowledge. Organizations need to learn how to build better boats for traveling between islands, and this starts with getting people to want to build boats. By re-imagining how we recognize excellence, we can begin to see sharing, collaboration and stewardship as the driving traits of an organization.

If, and when, this happens, employees will be begging for the tools that facilitate those processes. The technology to do so will simply be an implementation tactic.

Organizations may come to find that they had the key talent in place all along…duh!

New Series

I have had a little writer’s block lately on this blog. Couldn’t decide how to move forward. I think I have finally have found my way.

Introducing:

Re-Imagine: The Series

A lot of my conversations lately have been around the concepts I recently posted in this blog and on Slideshare, specifically that Social Media is going to change the landscape of all functional areas of the organization, not just Marketing. In these conversations I keep coming back to a central theme. The changes we are about to see are fundamentally NOT about technology (as most references to Enterprise 2.0 seem to be) but ARE about structure, process and behavior (SP&B). Ultimately implementation tactics may present as technology solutions, but I believe that in almost all instances the real solutions will be manifest in new SP&B.

With this thought in mind, I plan on starting a series of posts that look at the issues faced by different functional areas within the organization and discuss how these issues can be addressed with a Social Media approach, focusing on Structure, Process &Behavior.

My first post in the series will look at Human Resources… stay tuned.