A great post in Harvard Business Review shared by Tony Wood @xfactorcomms on the attributes of CEOs who get social media got me thinking about what are the equivalent for those in senior IT leadership roles.
We live in a world where the power of online tools to enable genuine 2 way communication can be seen as a threat or an opportunity. In an IT role it’s so refreshing to be able to connect direct to end users of our services. At the OU, I always knew about issues with our student facing systems through the student Facebook feed. A weekly blog provided a great opportunity to engage with staff across the whole organisation. Direct engagement with end users of services is a far better indicator of customer satisfaction than pages of SLAs and matrices.
So what are the key traits that are important to be successful as an IT leader in a social media enabled world. Here are some thoughts of mine, but I wonder what other socially engaged leaders think?
- Have a genuine desire to learn, from customers, about the business, about the market. Social Media is great for finding out about what’s going on in the industry you support and connecting in the world of your customers. It about listening, not just broadcasting.
- Have a desire to experiment with new ways of doing things, may be replacing traditional tools such as SLAs and reports with engagement using different tools. Do different things, rather than add more into a busy schedule!
- Accept work and play are mixed 24hours a day and be prepared to be flexbile and responsive. There is not usually time to create a crafted comms department approved post or response.
- Be willing to take risks and have an opinion. In an online world there is nowhere to hide….the flip side is that the the informal nature means you can say what you think (within reason).
- Have a clear brand which is personal and authentic. I have posted in this Blog on branding, it’s an essential starting point.
- Be open to learning from others. The tools available are fabulous for connecting to and learning from others
Overall leadership is about connecting people, learning fast and enabling teams to prosper and move at pace. Modern social media tools are a fantastic way of doing this. If you are not using them yet, maybe it’s time to think about taking the plunge. Please let me know what you think via Twitter @MarkJacot
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