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It’s About the Tribe

A century of management science built on a manufacturing economy has done little to prepare executives for the new digitally disruptive, social terrains that they must now navigate.

By
Gary Edwards, PhD
,
on
February 19, 2018

A century of management science built on a manufacturing economy has done little to prepare executives for the new digitally disruptive, social terrains that they must now navigate. The time when company size equated with longevity has ended and with it, the social contract rewarding cautious stewardship with stability.

There are many examples of social media, left to its own devices, playing out as a negative force. Consumers and employees, incented by finally having a voice – or perhaps at times by viral fame and fortune – can easily become modern revolutionaries, toppling careful enterprise stewards. One viral video has the capacity to destroy billions of dollars in shareholder value. While a defensive posture against these threats is not unwarranted, it is not the only (or best) option. Executives are now realizing it’s equally possible that social media presents an enormous opportunity. Leaders who embrace this technology can marshal people globally on their mission like never before.

Leaders are rediscovering the benefits of employing workers not solely for their labor, but also for their full intellectual and social participation in the company mission. To discover why, and to uncover new best practices for organizations that realize this largely untapped potential, we conducted primary survey research of employees and management throughout the US and Canada on their usage, perceptions, and policies regarding social and mobile communication technologies in the workplace. Our findings were eye-opening:

  • While over half of managers recognize the visibility gains and brand benefits of social advocacy, just 1 in 10 reports implementing a structured, comprehensive social media advocacy program as part of their digital strategy.
  • Management opinion on the benefits of an Employee Advocacy Program varies widely. Notably, at the top of this list sits “building a shared sense of purpose,” what we would refer to as leading the tribe.
  • According to our findings, employees overwhelmingly approve of companies’ social media posts, with the majority finding them informative, engaging, interesting, relatable, timely and of high quality.
  • Employees are more likely to share company achievements than personal achievements. Company achievements are the most shared followed by company organized events.

To learn more, visit PostBeyond and download the full report.

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