I’m a bit late in posting a summary of last week’s internal communications/social media chat on Twitter – #icchat.
Last week we discussed how to use social media with change management communications. The group agreed that in theory, employees should be allowed to give feedback before change happens. The example I put forth, however, focused on the fact that change was going to happen; the decision had been made and the positive messages were already being developed.
In short, Mick Gregory nailed this example: “Real change management should ask for input before the decision was made. So this would be internal PR, fence mending.”
Yet the discussion around using social media in this example and with change management in general was a good one. For the most part, social media was voted a positive tool to use in change management communications. The reality is that from an internal standpoint, it is the most likely way to encourage questions and discussion as close to real-time as possible. Employees are scattered around the world, and this should be a two-way conversation.
Jeremy Schultz educated me on utilizing a web jam, first developed and used by IBM. IBM created the “jam” to nurture good ideas by holding online threaded discussions on set issues. Basically, jams last for 72 hours, during which attendees can log on at any time to check out and contribute/debate threads. Since they are online and held over three days, time zones, etc., don’t matter. People can contribute at their convenience.
While a jam would be best used at the beginning of a change management project, I do think it could be useful in spreading and inviting conversation around the project as messages are distributed and questions are asked.
Blogs would also be useful in this type of communication project. While traditional vehicles like town halls, e-mails and conference calls will be utilized, social media has a place in the plan as well. The key is to identify the correct tool(s) and implement them wisely. And, two valid points were made:
- Mick Gregory stated, “You use all the internal media options, a blog can be one. But don’t use the phrase we value your feedback”.
- Becky Ericson stated, “ SM helps smooth rough spots and ID red flags in Ldrshp’s CM plan. Done well, increases ee ownership”.
Back to asking employees for feedback before implementing change, my favorite question came from Becky Ericson. I’d love to hear your answers to it:
“Great question re SM, ChM. If you enable emplyees to control message & they don’t want the change, does change happen?”