The Risks of Not Knowing!

This past week, I had the opportunity to provide the key note speech at the first annual Social Media Leadership Awards event at Wharton, sponsored by Ernst & Young.   I have included a guest blog below given I think the director of the White Rose Studies did a better job summarizing my comments about the #Social Rules for the #Social Age than I could.   You can read her entire post here.  It's wonderful.  You can also see my presentation at Slideshare.net. Now her comments:

'Finally, the Keynote Luncheon speaker was Barry Libert, CEO of OpenMatters. He defined social media according to three “rules”.

Rule #1: Listen. ‘We’re all technology companies these days – technology companies that happen to be financial services, human resources, manufacturers,’ [hey, he left out educators and historians!] ‘but we are all technology companies.’ The stress used to be placed on what we did or made. That has shifted to how we connect with people regarding what we do or make. We use technology to make those connections.

We must go beyond asking rotely, “How can I help you?” We must begin to mean those words, as expectations now dictate that we mean it! Think Apple versus Microsoft. We should strive for the Apple paradigm.

Social media requires a well-defined strategy that generally progresses through four stages:

  1. Ad hoc. Reduced risk. Low cost. Innovative. (Guest Blogger: Center for White Rose Studies is clearly in this stage!)
  2. Planned. Increased capacity. Wider audience.
  3. Organized, with expanded success.
  4. Integrated. Optimal potential.

Rule #2. See. The result of “seeing” is engagement.

If a company combines multiple media platforms with innovation, the result is success.

And honestly, I (Guest Blogger) stopped taking notes on Rule #2 at this point, because I was flabbergasted (and pleased) that he mentioned our innovation with our project worktables as an example of this point. Still stunned.

Rule #3. Let others speak. This point or rule stuck with me. ‘It’s not really social media,’ he said, ‘but rather human media. Social media is reaching out to humankind, humanKIND, with KINDness and compassion.

We’re past the information age and must become “socially intelligent” in all our interactions (Guest Blogger: not limited to business!). Companies no longer can rely on measuring assets, but must learn to measure human interactions. (Me: This echoes what Ted Rubin said about “return on relationships” as a new metric in corporate life.)

Employees are no longer to be seen as “costs” on the P&L. Rather, employees are assets. They can make or break the company they work for. (Guest Blogger: In an earlier workshop, someone had noted that good companies no longer ban employee access to Facebook or YouTube during working hours. They know first that if they do so, even non-smokers will take “smoke breaks” to go outside and access Facebook and YouTube on their iPads. Second, good companies count on employees posting or Tweeting good things about their employer.)

Barry asked for feedback and comments on ways to improve the human connection. Nearly every suggestion revolved around compassion, caring about one’s co-worker, customer, employee, honestly and sincerely.

Two concluding comments:

  • Think simple and holistically, but start small.
  • Practice social skills every day. (Guest Blogger: Note, social skills, not social media.)

What this means for Center for White Rose Studies: This underscores who we already are, what we already strive to BE. From our board’s CARE commitment, to our Ethics of Holocaust Scholarship, we’ve tried to define and implement guidelines that keep us focused on you, our community, strategies that embrace the wonderful messiness and glory that is humanity.'

Cailin Darcy