Posted by: drewdice | August 20, 2009

The Social Networking Buzz (Part 2)

Since the last post on this topic, I’ve had some really thoughtful conversations with many of you (and others) regarding your views on the applications of social networking.

Comments and discussions have spanned the range of the uselessness and vanity of social networking as chatter and endless chest thumping, all the way to a vital vehicle for communication, branding and connection with current and future clients. In relation to the last post, I agree with all of you!

Now, before you tell me that I’ve copped out, or not taken a stance, let’s remember some of what we shared last time. Social networking is truly a vehicle; an means to an end, if you will. As much as I hate this cliche, it is true: you get out of it, what you put into it. Depending on your goal, social networking can be an extremely valuable tool for you, and your various audiences. We can talk more about that any time you’d like. Feel free to share your thoughts with others, right here, using this vehicle.

Today, we are going to shift the topic from external use (expressing your views, observing, starting and participating in discussions, marketing your wares, sharing your gift) to a focus inside your company. While social networking has powerful applications when directed at the universe outside your organization, it may just be even more dynamic when put to use within your company’s atmosphere.

At RWD Technologies, we serve firms by using our enabling technologies to help their organizations create dynamic, collaborative and evolving learning and performance improvement solutions throughout the firm. Think about what that means (it will mean something different to everyone). When an organization undertakes a massive initiative (reorganization, new ERP implementation, new sales effectiveness initiative), the entire company undergoes a transformation. Not only do all of the employees need to learn new tasks, but people need to learn new ways to communicate, change the way they think, shift the way they behave, form new habits, create and adopt new processes, and much more.

Learning (not a synonym for training here) is a lifelong journey, and should be treated as such. Within the framework of a firm, this is where social networking has unlimited applications. Think about capturing and harnessing the power of the thoughts, ideas, creativity and innovation that exists within the minds of your team members (past, present and future). Think about the knowledge that is lost every time an employee leaves your firm. How much more powerful could your organziation be if that knowledge were captured, organized, authored, enhanced, retooled, shared, improved again, added to (you get the point). Picture the day when new employees ramp up in less than half the time it takes today, and become profitable for your company twice as fast! Imagine impact on the speed of cross training and new skill development if your company truly built, developed, used, and improved internal communication, sharing and collaboration vehicles to allow on the job, “at your own pace”, sharing best practices-type of employee learning. What would that do to the speed, power, profitability and scalability of your firm?

Please share your thoughts and ideas about the application of social networking within a firm. Let’s practice what we preach.

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