Why Worry About Social Media?

Ever wondered how to answer someone that asks what’s the value of all this social networking stuff? Or why would anyone ever use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, You Tube, etc. and how do they relate to each other?

You can play the role of an expert and develop your own answer by solving the case in this posting. A great way to learn by doing!

[tweetmeme source=”KAWConsulting” http://wp.me/pGCfB-3O%5D

Introduction: Ever wondered how to answer someone that asks what’s the value of all this social networking/media stuff?  Or why would anyone ever use Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, You Tube, etc. and how do they relate to each other?

Well, here’s a way to learn by playing the role of an expert and advising someone else asking the same basic question.  The case below challenges you to test your creativity and advise someone on the impact of changes being caused as a result of social networking. In this case it’s your friends (a brother and sister) who as you’ll see in the scenario don’t understand social media, but are being impacted by it in a real way.

This scenario is based on one of the important types of change—the need to adapt to changes in the environment caused by events largely outside of your control. In this case, the change is because of social media.

To play:

  • Read the scenario below.
  • Then develop some advice.
  • If you want to share your ideas, post your response on Twitter #KAWConsulting so others can respond and share their ideas as well.

  • Better yet, share this challenge with others (friends, colleagues, etc.)  and get them to respond as well.  (It can be the start of a collaborative learning community).

  • Or, leave a comment.  (Comments will be public so be advised that others viewing this posting will be able to see them).

Scenario:

Your friends own and run a party store. The store has been in their family for 30 years. Their father started it back in the 80’s, and now they run it. The key to being successful for so long has been based on:

– Location (it’s in a suburban strip mall with easy access from several local single family house developments).

– Carrying the right inventory—supplies for birthday parties, holidays, graduations, weddings, etc.

– Affordable prices

– Marketing—they have display ads in the local phone directory, advertise in the community paper, support school events, etc.

Lately their business is going down, while they’ve noticed that one of their competitors seems awfully busy. This concerns them—along with the fact that their income is taking quite a nose dive.

Consequently, your friends hired a mystery shopper and find out that their competitor is using some strange new techniques, that frankly they had never really heard of. Apparently, the competitor has something called a Blog and writes articles on everything you need to know to plan your party or event. They seem to have fans on something called Facebook, and have created a community of enthusiastic followers, that always seem to know about their specials. They even are using something called Twitter to communicate with an even wider network. What’s more, they’ve even hired someone called an Event Specialist, who can help customers plan your party so it’s just right.

Getting somewhat frantic, your friends call you, because you always seem to be on the leading edge of everything, and ask for advice on what to do. Even though they don’t know much about the new technology, or how to use it, they know they need to do something fast and right.

Based on what you’ve heard, your gut tells you that the changes involved may be enormous and involve a lot more than just technology.

Challenge: Assume that you’re the friend. What advice would you give about:

– What your friends need to learn.

– What they need to do.

– What challenges will they face?

– What changes will they need to make?

– Who will be impacted by the changes?

– What do they need to do to implement them successfully?

– Other advice you think important.

Resources: A couple of Blogs with helpful information–look for ideas on how to use Social Media as Marketing Tool.

http://www.modernmediainstitute.com/

http://mashable.com/

Question for further reflection: What approach can you use to help your organization learn how best to use social media?

Contact Information

E-Mail KAWCONSULTING@COMCAST.NET

Copyright 2010 KAW Consulting.  All rights reserved.

Planning for a Major Change Initiative

For a major change initiative to succeed, it’s vital that the planning for it addresses key strategic, leadership and operational issues. Learn important key questions to consider when planning a major change initiative.

[tweetmeme source=”KAWConsulting” http://www.bit.ly/cudwQ0]

Note:   This post provides a list of questions that need to be considered when planning a major change initiative. For assistance in developing a plan based on these and other questions unique to your organization, contact KAW Consulting directly.

Introduction:  For a major change initiative to succeed, it’s vital that the planning for it addresses key strategic, leadership and operational issues.  Projects that fail often don’t sufficiently address these areas and find that they didn’t have a broad enough definition of the project’s scope, didn’t include all the necessary activities, or have the needed resources to make the initiative a success.

Following is a list of questions to ask when developing the strategy for a major change initiative to help ensure your plan addresses the needed areas.  

Strategic

  • Is there a clear Vision for the initiative that clearly states why it’s being done, the reasons why it’s critical for the organization’s continued success, the benefit of doing it, and the probable impact of it on the organization?

  • Can the Highest Executive in the organization clearly explain this?

  • Is the definition of the initiative’s scope broad enough to encompass what really needs to be done?

Example: Does the initiative require a re-examination and redesign of existing business processes as well as integration of new technology? Will there be major impacts on staffing, relationships between departments, need for better teamwork, etc. as a result of the initiative?

  • Does each member of Executive Leadership have a clear understanding of the initiative’s purpose, strategic intent and true impact on their segment of the organization, and their role in making this a success? Many times this is only vaguely understood and the result is a lack of communication down the line that this effort is “critical” and the needed attention be paid to it as one of the “key things we’re working on”.

  • Is this initiative’s success reflected in key organization strategic goals and performance criteria at the executive level?

  • Are the initiative’s resource requirements understood and included in the organization’s capital and operating expense budgets?

  • Is the status of the initiative included in the organization’s key monitoring systems that evaluate progress against key strategic goals?

Leadership

  • Who has overall responsibility for implementation of this initiative? Is this clearly communicated and understood by the organization’s Executive and Senior Leadership?

  • Does this responsibility cover all the needed areas such as business impact identification and process redesign, user training, system implementation and adoption planning versus just system development and testing?

  • Does the initiative have a Leadership Team composed of representatives from impacted departments/stakeholder areas with responsibility and accountability for successful implementation in their Department?

  • Do these Departmental representatives clearly understand their roles and responsibilities? Is the success of this initiative a key part of their performance criteria?

  • Do the Departmental representatives have enough organizational authority to ensure the initiative gets the needed attention in their department/area?

  • Do the various Departments and Stakeholders have this initiative and its success as one of their key performance goals? Are the necessary resources included in their Departmental operating budgets?

Operational

  • Does the initiative’s overall project plan include all the major activity areas such as business impact analysis, process redesign evaluation, staffing and culture change needs, communications, implementation planning, user training, etc. versus just system design, testing and implementation?

  • Key Question to Answer: What are the areas someone might say “This is clearly a major area we overlooked in our planning…” if the project failed. These are all activity areas that need to be in your plan.

Example: Departments did not really understand the impact on their operations and proactively get ready for it, and experienced substantial difficulties once new technology started up. When looking at the initiative’s overall plan after the fact, it didn’t include enough attention to departmental business impact analysis as a major phase.