How social is your organisation? Are you the life and soul of the party? Or are you perpetually in the kitchen?
And what do we even mean by being a social organisation anyway?
In his thought provoking post “Let’s get Sociable” , Phil Jewitt asked what role digital engagement could play in connecting with the public . A public often disengaged with authority. It also asked how digital can effectively contribute to social change and impact, rather than just been seen as something that can save money.
It got me thinking about how an organisations online behaviour might indicate whether they are truly sociable. Here are 5 things I look for in “sociable” organisations:
- They don’t broadcast –they engage. They know its not about them. They never act as if they are more important than the customer.
- They show some personality and post thoughtful and relevant content. They share more of other peoples work than they do of their own. They promote others rather than themselves.
- They are more than business. They seek out and rub shoulders with other people who have a similar social purpose – and they collaborate without regard for organisational boundaries. They demonstrate through their actions and outlook that they are seeking to make change happen.
- They employ social people. Helen Reynolds has commented that she is “beginning to think the most effective way to achieve better government is to recruit people who display friendly, social qualities”. I can only agree. As more and more of our work gets automated the truly social organisation needs people who are interested in other people , not policies.
- They take considered risks. They get out from behind the desk and try new ways to engage. They walk the talk and try and reconnect with people where it’s most relevant to them. Compare the disastrous public engagement exercise of the Police Commissioner elections with how The Royal British Legion used new media to engage the online world on Remembrance Sunday. Worlds apart.
That’s my five , but I’m sure you might disagree or can think of others.
I would love to hear your thoughts.