I think social is overhyped!

Exactly, I think social is overhyped!

KhalidRazaSocialLoveThat’s what a lot of leaders say to me, subtly, and they are not the only ones. Oops, mebbe I should not have mentioned it. Well, I feel social is over-engineered but not overhyped. Tim Collins, Director, HR Talent, Development & Resources, and #socialHRsuccess (an effort to enable IBM HR Professional and processes be more social) a leader, shared this with me in his brilliant blog, HR Globalist (IBM internal blog):

“According to Vala Afshar, CMO of Extreme Networks: Don’t do social, be social. 

Sincere
Open
Collaborative
Interested
Authentic
Likeable

Social is not something extra you do on top of your regular work.

Who has the time to do more? I certainly don’t. To be social, you have to change the way you approach your job. For me, social is where real work gets done — sharing, collaborating across time zones and geos, networking, finding knowledge and great ideas wherever and with whomever they reside. It can be done in public, in the open, and when the situation calls for it, in private, 100% secure, restricted communities, wikis and activities. When done right, it democratizes the organization, breaks down silos and hierarchy, improves both speed and quality.”

Isn’t it super simple. This line, “To be social, you have to change the way you approach your job.” That for me is the crux of what social is all about.

This week, I was creating a new archive (yes I still use emails), like I do every year and started to wonder – how many emails did I get/send in 2014? I did a quick check and I was surprised at what I found. Take a look:

Email graph

The traffic has reduced so much for me. From 2012 till today, I have got 9000 less emails! And, if I would have spent 1 minute per email (average), I would have saved 9000 minutes. Of course not all of this is because of social, considering that I switched roles, moved projects etc, but this is a staggering number! Obviously, I, like other #socialangels who put in efforts to take non-confidential conversation to the ‘open/social’ platform IBM Connections, our Enterprise Social Network.

Now, I have not calculated exactly how much time I must have saved, when people ask me a question on my Connections profile and when my network chips in to respond, saving time for not only me but for the person who asks the question. This aspect of mutual knowledge empowers us to find information faster, work better and live happier.

Imagine a scenario where you need a solution and you do not know who can help you. What will you do? Spend time to find out an expert (only if you are able to find one, who for sure knows the answer to your question), send them an email and wait for them to respond to you. Really!

What you can do is just go to your social network profile and post the question and someone in your network will help you – but before you become selfish and incline only toward extracting information, you must also spend time to help others. Now, that would be a good thumb rule!

Let me share this screenshot which clearly demonstrates the power of social and how it helped me save time and find a solution. Check this out:

image

And, this is not it – there is much more, the private activities where I document my 101 with my manager, the private wiki where I document three quarterly highlights, (which eventually help me with my PBC (IBM’s annual employee appraisal, immensely), private/open communities where I ask/provide answers, internal blog and #SocialGlamorthe list just goes on.

Final thoughts: I see social as a tool to help us become more productive, faster and efficient in what we do. Share your thoughts and let me know how social has changed your work day!

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary

 

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2 thoughts on “I think social is overhyped!

  1. […] your employees: An ESN will allow you to break the invisible walls only if you allow it to, by empowering employees to be open without any fear. In IBM, we promote […]

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  2. […] give feedback with your team members on a consistent and friendly basis. An ESN will allow you to break the invisible walls only if you allow it to, by empowering employees to be open without any […]

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