Yesterday, I gave a presentation on Open Innovation Meets Social Media in Bergen, Norway. One question went like this: What can be done to enable organizations to extract value out of social media?
The question got me to think back on an encounter I had with an executive a few years back. I had just given a presentation that among other topics touched upon how networking is becoming an important element for creating an innovation culture. During this talk, I pointed out that successful networking efforts at a corporate level require a strategic reason that sets the direction, the training and education of employees and the time needed for employees to build and nurture networks.
After the talk, I spoke with the executive who publicly at the talk agreed to my points and I asked what he would do now. He stood there for a while and then replied in a dry manner. Nothing. He would do nothing. I was a bit baffled and I asked why not. He said that “things” like networking takes care of itself. There is no need to deal with this. This is wrong. Networking does not take of itself. Neither does innovation.
The case is the same with social media. Some executives might think that this will take care of itself and that employees will find their own reasons to do so. However, if they take this approach they will miss out on the real benefits that social media can bring to an organization. One benefit is getting a more open and agile organization, which is important in the fast-paced business environment we have today.
Direction, training and time. This is what it takes to succeed with innovation, networking and yes – social media.