Social media in business, and in some forms known as social business, can have great benefits such as enabling horizontal collaboration, unscripted conversations and driving innovation.
But like any organisational cultural change, it often falls on the leaders of the organisation to drive adoption, and I don’t mean just vocally encouraging people to utilise some new funky online tool.
The shift to encouraging the next gear change, a real uplift in business collaboration shall we say, requires a different dimension from our leaders.
We require them to understand the wider complexities of social media in the workplace, and in some cases, even help create and curate content, embodying the voice of the leader. This creates a rather interesting interplay of required leadership skills and related organizational-design principles.
McKinsey & Company have written an interesting article on this, which succinctly refers to this new dimension of skill as Organizational Media Literacy, which they have defined along six key characteristics that are interdependent (see graph).Think of it almost as 6 different social media hats that a leader could wear.
These 6 key “hats” are:
1. The producer: Creating compelling content
2. The distributor: Leveraging dissemination dynamics
3. The recipient: Managing communication overflow
4. The adviser and orchestrator: Driving strategic social-media utilization
5. The architect: Creating an enabling organizational infrastructure
6. The analyst: Staying ahead of the curve
To find out how to leverage these skills, have a look at the article for more information, and ask yourself: How social media literate are your leaders?