I lost my new Bluetooth ear-piece this morning (again). I started thinking about my 17 year old daughter. She's been in big trouble lately. She wrecked and totaled her first car, she broke her brand new G3, got a new one, then lost it and has consequently lost all privileges to life in general.
So I'm searching the parking lot of Petsmart, hoping I find the stupid Bluetooth thing - I did. I just laugh at myself thinking I'm an idiot. I've lost or broke about a million cellphones, my brand new iPod touch spent its first six-months of life lost in the couch cushions, I can never remember where I put anything. Wow... could I have taught this behavior to her? Or maybe she was just born that way?
I decide to go with some people are just born that way (obviously nothing to do with my rearing). Some people continue behavior patterns no matter how hard you try to groom them for change. This links me to another subject, (I've got an hour commute, this happens a lot)... Can you only be successful with a natural talent? Do you have to be born with the ability, or at least the desire to do something? Or, can you teach someone to like something enough, to be successful at something even if they don't want to do it? Can I teach Lauren to respect her phone, not wreck her car, or to at least stop losing stuff? I've given up. No, I don't think I can.
Consequently, can you create a social media person? Can you create a social media leader? Can you get non-believers to find the magic in social media? Can you actual show them that it can be used for good not evil? This is my battle today.
Our General Counsel, Mike Hamilton, was the feature of this months internal newsletter for Atos Origin North America. He puts it so eloquently: “…there are some rules of thumb to keep in mind when communicating in the social networking world. Rule number 1: use common sense. Rule number 2: see Rule number 1.”
We've been on the cusp of some amazing social media potential lately. Our CIO CTO Blog created in the UK is up for a ComputerWeekly Blog Award, service delivery line guys are creating content and making sure we're posting within a certain time-frame, external communications is working with program managers and our scientific community to create social links and individual blogging potential. All these things are a step in the right direction.
But I still get comments like
"Are you going to Tweet that?"
"I'd like a job that lets me Facebook and Google myself all day."
"Twitter won't be around forever, you're wasting your time."
"We don't want our information out there."
These are legitimate concerns I suppose, if you aren't made the same way I am. The same way other people mixed in the social media frenzy are also made. I don't think we will always tweet. I don't think Facebook will be the last best-thing. I DO think that the way we're communicating has changed. I DO think spending my time researching the market online, observing our competition within their own social confines, and connecting our service delivery personnel to the outside world is very important. But, again, I'm just born that way. I've always been open to a new way of working. I like change, I expect change, I need change.
If your company wants to go in a "social" direction, it doesn't mean you lose control of your privacy. It doesn't even mean that you have to do it. It doesn't even mean that you have to like it. This is not unlike the telegraph, telephone, cell phone, email, online messaging, text messaging... its just a progression. If your not jumping into the social waters now and could care-less about doing so, no worries. You don't have to. You just aren't born that way. I'm learning to accept that. I'm learning to accept that some people think my twitter and Facebook are silly. I'm not even trying to change that. The fact that I can still communicate your message through all the newest outlets and keep your brand connected with others keeps you from having to do so. I'm pretty sure you also winced back in 1998 when websites first began emerging. "The competition will find us!" You've gotten used to it, or at least accepted it by now. (fingers crossed). I'm hoping you can do the same thing with my tweets. It's all for the greater good. I promise.
As I dust off the road rash from my bluetooth and stick it back in my ear, I see I owe her an apology. You are clearly born with it. Sorry sweetie. I love you anyway. (but yes, you're still grounded)