The Vanguard View: Insight for Association Websites

Social Networking Requires Change Management

Posted by Chris Bonney on Mon, Dec 13, 2010


describe the imageThe video below from Kevin Eikenberry really got me thinking about associations and how they approach implementing social networking tools.

Kevin is talking in the video about how to approach cultural change at an organization. That the cultural change you desire must be a project in and of itself. Don't simply decide what needs to be changed, but decide that the cultural change needs to be acknowledged as part of the initiative.

I've been floating the idea to our clients over the years that there is an element of change management involved in a social networking project. After all, it's not everyone at you organization that is asking to man your Twitter account day after day. Or to upload documents and manage relationships over your private social network. Simply adding "social networking" to a staff member's plate doesn't mean they're bought in to the idea.

So the takeaway is that organizationally you need buy-in from stakeholders if you want your social network to be a success. It's not just about members buying in, but also board, staff and volunteers. Are you putting together teams of champions before you launch your community? Enabling your contingent to spread the word so you don't have to? If not, you're missing a cultural change management opportunity. Are there detractors on staff that insist your members will "never do it"? If so, what will they be telling people about your shiny new community at your next event?

This is food for thought: social networking requires change management.

Don't just view the implementation of the software as the project. Know that, though networking has been a part of your organization for years, bringing that experience online requires some cultural shift.

Enjoy the video!

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Topics: web strategy, Chris Bonney, social media, change management, kevin eikenberry, cultural change, association technology

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