A challenging part of employing social media concepts within an organization or large company is getting everyone to agree. With so many parties with differing interests, one wonders how things ever get done.
I’d like to posit the idea that consensus is not required to explore the opportunities that social media present. Sure, you may (or should) gain approval from the group you’re working with, getting the every executive, or department, or business unit’s buy in just won’t happen. At least not in the timeframe you’ll need to reap some of the rewards of joining your community.
Consensus is one of the problems that social media may be able to solve as well. As large companies continue to consolidate resources internally, they also create more silos for information, and push the decision making to a select few at the top.
Sure, these fine folks have years (decades in many cases) of business experience that allows them to plot the course for large companies. However, these same folks are now spreading themselves quite thin and it requires more time to make decisions for each business. This translates into slow moving companies that can’t adapt fast enough to changing market conditions.
In this, social media allows faster interaction across the organization. By leveraging both the business experience of executive staff along with the day-to-day mid-level management that is tracking the trends of each business, large companies have the potential to move almost as fast as a much smaller organization.
The need for an open, transparent culture still exists though. Without it, the company won’t have the ability to try new things and learn from them quickly.
Social media is more about cultural and conceptual changes than technological. And you don’t need consensus to understand that either. Good luck.