I've written before about the value I see in people within organisations who blog, tweet, connect and share ideas online. I don't say that everyone should blog, just that there is value that its easy to miss. You can argue that this is even more critical in advertising and media organisations. Communications is changing forever and we are (after all) in the communications business. And being part of an online community is by far the best way to understand how online communities work. And most clients think it's important that their agencies understand digital and social media. And according to some, ad agencies are lagging behind their marketplace. And many clients could benefit from developing a deeper understanding.
If you work in a social media or digital agency you may well think that it is commonplace for a large proportion of company employees to be blogging or tweeting. But in most organisations it's simply not. Which means that the people that are, are potentially adding unique value to that organisation. Staff who are increasingly using web-based tools to augment key functions within the business and their own individual roles. As Euan says, these people should be cherished:
Driving behavioural change through a large organisation is tough. Cultural change is even tougher. Using advocates to champion organisational change can be very effective but even then, trying to show the value of such activity is not always easy. And maybe that's because the focus isn't always on the right thing. Time, for example. This tweet from Dino struck a chord:
It's an answer I've looked for before too. When I talk about blogging, the number one question I get asked by non-bloggers is where do you find the time? As I've said before, I think this is the wrong question about the wrong thing. I believe it is important enough for me to find the time. And more than that, being part of a community means that the good stuff now often comes to me.
When trying to champion change, it's easy to be immersed in your own viewpoint. It's tempting to do the big presentation, filled with good thinking, and great ideas, and expect the world to be different from that moment on (and I'll admit that I have been guilty of this in the past). It's easy to forget that your audience are not necessarily in the same place as you. They may not have travelled the same journey as you have.
Being able to persuade is an art. Understanding how to change behaviours amongst large groups of people, whether by great leadership and visionary thinking or by changing the world one person at a time, and allowing people to see the tangible benefits accrued by the people around them, is a genuine skill. And one that is so important right now. To quote Russell: