10 reasons not to ban social media in organisations

In the following tongue-in-cheek video, Ron Desi gives 10 “good reasons” to ban social media in your organisation!  Below it are a series of responses to rebut these arguments.

To recap, the 10 reasons in reverse order are

  1. Social media is a fad.
  2. It’s about controlling the message.
  3. Employees will goof off.
  4. Social Media is a time waster.
  5. Social media has no business purpose.
  6. Employees can’t be trusted.
  7. Don’t cave into the demands of the millennials.
  8. Your teams already share knowledge effectively.
  9. You’ll get viruses.
  10. Your competition isn’t using it, so why should you?

In response to a request for help in rebutting these reasons (and as suggested by Jack Vinson), I am asking for short responses (with or without a link to supporting resources) to each of these points to build an armoury of responses to use with sceptical managers.  Please leave your contribution below.

Contributors so far:

  1. Harold Jarche
  2. Jack Vinson
  3. Liz Valete (in a comment on my blog posting
  4. James B Ellsworth (in comments below)
  5. Jane Hart
  6. Travis Smith (via Twitter)
  7. Wendy Tagg (in a comment below)
  8. Helen Davies (in a comment below)
  9. Judith Christian Carter (in a comment on my blog posting)
  10. Michele Martin
  11. Hugh Greenway
  12. Ian Wilker (in comments below)
  13. Manish Mohan
  14. Dave Ferguson: Shakespeare on social media – a classic!
  15. Clark Quinn
  16. Courtney Hunt (in a comment on my blog posting)
  17. Luis Suarez
  18. Gina Minks
  19. Neil LaChapelle (in a comment below)
10 – Social media is a fad
  • Social media are an extension of the Internet and the Web, and are becoming embedded in our work and leisure time. If the Net is a fad, then so are social media – place your bets.
  • In the long-term, everything is a fad.  Does that mean it isn’t helpful?  The question is whether this particular fad has any value to us today.  The argument I like the most is that social media (or Enterprise 2.0 or “this technology”) gives us an ability to return to the heart of what organizations should be about: people working with each other.  Social media is a great way to help people connect and engage with each other, especially when they no longer share physical space.
  • Everything starts off as a fad.
  • I think the statistics speak for themselves, as presented in Erik Qualman’s video, Social Media Revolution (v2). A huge number of people are using these tools in their daily lives and it is having a significant impact on all types of activities – personal, business as well as learning.
  • Social media may be a fad, but in this day and age, its also accessible while on the move.
  • It may have started as a fad but it’s gone well past that now. Anyway, a lot of things that we use on a daily basis started like that too (eg the Internet, e-mail, computers, IT, instant coffee, central heating, gas, electricity …)
  • While specific tools may be more or less popular at any given time or in a particular industry,  the principles of social media are here to stay. Conversations, transparency, relationships, authenticity, and making information easily accessible and available are not only important aspects of social media, they are increasingly becoming the way that the most successful businesses thrive in the new economy. The genie is out and he’s not getting back in the bottle.
  • that can’t be answered just yet, only time will tell.
  • If so do you want to be left behind and not know anything about it?
  • Communication has been at the core of being human since before the campfire.  Augmenting our capabilities with technology, using tools, yeah, that’s not new.  So using tools to facilitate communication is just natural evolution.  Was the computer a fad? The internet a fad?  Busted.
  • Yes, yes, I know. I have been hearing and reading about this one since early 2000, when I was first exposed to social software tools (Community wikis, in this case), and fast forward 10 years later (Yes, 10 years later!) we are still talking about it. If that’s a fad then I wish there would be plenty more of them, I am afraid. Social Software has been with us since 1997 and growing stronger than ever, to the point where plenty of people are spending more time in social networking activities displacing even something so pervasive as email is. Yes, indeed, we would have to start saying that email, too, is a fad, don’t you think?! (It’s been there for over 40 years already!)
  • This excuse for not using social media is based fully on fear. Here’s what management is thinking: we’ll pour resources into this, we’ll spend a bunch of  time and money on it, and people won’t even use it. They’ll go back to what they always do, and 3 years from now we’ll do this whole dance again to different music.Here’s where you have to be prepared to counter-act the impact social media “experts” may have had on your decision makers. Pick one initiative that is important to your management. Explain how using social media can impact the bottom line, and show how easy & inexpensive it will be to implement your plan. Give them something easy that they don’t have to be married to – maybe a listening program.If they really think social media a fad, give them something lightweight and low-risk so they can try it out. But make sure you measure everything you can, and show them some fantastic results.
  • With growth rates, reach, penetration, engagement and network-effect metrics like social media has had, our business should wish to be such a fad! I can’t see our board of directors complaining if we hit numbers like that…

9 – It’s about controlling the message

  • Networks, the new organizational model, mean giving up control and our hierarchical work models are no longer effective nor efficient.
  • This one has very little connection for me.  Within the organization there is no “message” to control.  And outside the organization, plenty of other people are handling the message, both the company message as well as all the messages customers have about the company (which are often shared with these tools).
  • Too much control = stifled imagination.
  • Control is a myth; there has never been any real control.  How do you control the conversations people have on the phone, in emails, in the restaurant, in the pub after work?
  • We need to make a corporate paradigm shift from controlling to facilitating and validating similar to TV news media.
  • If organisations have a message, why not control it?  Social media gets the message (and instant feedback) to the big wide world instantly
  • Actually, it’s completely the opposite – the use of social media by its very nature removes or negates control.
  • You’re right–it’s about controlling the message. But HOW you control it has changed. You can try brute force and rigid boundaries, but that doesn’t work very well anymore. Just ask BP. In a world where information and the tools for sharing it are freely available, you will never be able to control everything that’s said about you. But you CAN listen and respond in a way that you were never able to before. You can find out where the problems are, what people are complaining about and then, through your responses, you can control how these issues are perceived. You can’t control the message, but through social media, you CAN control perceptions.
  • is naive in the extreme, anyone who thinks they can control information has no job in management
  • If it is are you using the channels available to you and the employees? Just because social media is banned at work does not mean employees don’t have access to it at all. They are on it whether you like it or not. And if you are indeed worried about controlling the message, are you on the same channels are your employees are?
  • You can’t control the message, and social media isn’t going to change that.  They  have phones, email, hallway conversations, parking lot conversations, and the social media cigarette break.   I won’t even go into why you’d want to control the message, because that comes up later in the list.
  • This is an interesting one, for sure! Jane talks about it as a myth. Actually, I would go one step further. Control has always been, and still is, an illusion. Controlling your knowledge workers and their actions is an impossible task to do for anyone, more than anything else, because those knowledge workers are the first ones who know exactly how to put a stop to that control if it jeopardises their own identity and personal privacy: they would leave the company. As simple as that. Oh, and the same thing happens with security, for that matter.
  • This one is about fear as well. And its pretty easy to overcome – just start showing them examples of how people are talking about your products and company. Good things if you can find them, bad if you have to. People are already talking about you. The question is – do you want to be involved when and where your customers decide to share. Do your stakeholders want to counteract the negative, and reinforce the positive? Or do they want to pretend that no one is talking at all?If they decide to put their toe in the water and try social media, record any outstanding interactions that take place between you and your customers. Show them how their efforts are paying off!
  • When the context changes, that changes both the semantics and pragmatics of the message. An old corporate voice and corporate persona, authoritatively delivered through controlled channels, may have seemed solid and genuine in the past, but today it seems staged, forced, inauthentic, shallow and static. People expect to have conversations with real individuals working within a “brand hive” – trust agents who represent the brand, but do so as individual speakers. The trained TV voice and polished print copy of yesterday is material for parody today.
8 – Employees will goof off
  • What looks like goofing off, such as Twitter, may actually be knowledge work.
  • And, so?  How is this different from all the other ways we have of relaxing and taking a break?  In business people are expected to be available nearly all the time, so we also need to give them a break if they need it, whether that is heading down the road for a coffee or checking their favorite blog.  And by the way, many of those blogs have a business connection.
  • Goofing off isn’t always bad.
  • Is this really a problem.  The company is made up of real people.  The human side of a business is very important.
  • Employees who will goof off (or abuse SM) are already goofing off & u don’t know it. It’s already a selection issue. Now u’ll have eyes into it & can take appropriate documented action.
  • Don’t employees goof off now?  What about sick days, extended loo breaks etc?  What might be seen as goofing off could also be work – research, networking, product evaluation to name but a few
  • If by ‘goof off’ you mean “a person who is habitually lazy or does less than their fair share of work” then I don’t see how this is possible when they are busy using social media for well-intentioned purposes
  • You’re right. Staff WILL goof off. But here’s something great about social media that I don’t think you’ve realized. Did you know with social media you can actually monitor goofing off even BETTER? I can’t tell if you played solitaire on your laptop unless I actually catch you doing it. But I CAN tell if you uploaded your vacation photos or played Farmville on Facebook during work hours. I don’t know if you spent an hour on the phone to your sister. But I CAN see if you were tweeting about lunch and your favorite episode of Glee when you were supposed to be working on that report. See? Social media is actually your greatest dream–documented proof of all the ways your staff is screwing around! The faster you get them on there, the quicker you’ll be able to prove what you’ve suspected all along!
  • If your employees goof off it’s your fault as a manager; either give them something more interesting to do, motivate them, accept an element of goofing as part of life or find people who don’t goof off.
  • If employees have to goof off they will, whether they have access to social media at work or not. If you are managing your work allocation and performance management well, and have the right business measurements in place, it doesn’t really matter whether employees goof off or not. If you are measuring the time they are spending on activities rather than the results they are expected to achieve, you are probably a lawyer or a consultant billing by the hour. I can’t comment on lawyers but as a consultant, you better focus on results or you’ll be out of business.
  • This is redundant with the previous one. They’ll still have phones, email, paper, etc, e.g. lots of ways to goof off.  They’ll goof off regardless if you haven’t given them meaning in the work, but social media won’t affect it, yay or nay.
  • Of course! We have been doing that for centuries and we will continue to do that for many more to come! It’s part of our human nature when we lack the motivation and involvement to remain engaged with what we do. When businesses have managed to wear off our passion for our jobs and instead treat us as resources, not even human, that’s what you can expect. It’s a fair game.Like I said, we are going to continue to goof off for many decades to come, but, to be honest with you, if we would want to do that we wouldn’t need to make use of social networking sites in the first place. We have got other means of doing it much more successfully: email, personal phone calls, the water cooler breaks, extended breakfast & lunch breaks, late arrivals at work, and a long etc. etc.If you don’t want your employees to goof off, treat them with respect, trust them, empower them to co-share that responsibility of running a business, treasure and nurture their professionalism, because, after all, haven’t you hired a bunch of professionals to do the job in the first place? If not, don’t blame the employees; you may need to look into the HR hiring process altogether from scratch
  • Employees already goof off, we’ve never needed social media for that (wall and what ever the comparable windows command was – anyone?)Plus now most people can now access social media on their phones. Why not set expectations for how you want your employees to use social sites, and let them connect?
  • I remember in the 1990s when companies were wondering whether or not they should allow employees to have web access. Is work even imaginable today without it? But the worries were the same.
    If employees have enough time to goof off, then maybe the culprit is mandatory work hours. Try instituting a Results-Only-Work-Environment, where people don’t have to work a set number of hours at all – they just have to deliver what is needed from them. Like a free market for goods, if people are free to invest how they spend their time, many will become intensely focused and productive at work, in order to carve out extra time in their week for non-work tasks. If people are goofing off at work, it may be because they are stuck there for 40 hours whether they are super-productive or not.
7 – Social media is a time-waster
  • Not if you use some methods and processes (like PKM) to make sense of all those networks [that’s how I’m able to write this post so quickly].
  • And the 25% of time people spend hunting around on the corporate intranet is a good use of time?  Maybe if I could ask a question and get a direct answer, I could be more productive.
  • Networking is productive
  • Wait!  We’ve done this one before.  People get distracted by all types of things, especially if they are not motivated by their work.  The answer is to help them make their job more interesting or rewarding; not ban social media.
  • Email used to be a time waster?? Or was it a time saver??
  • Social media can improve efficiency – knowledge at your fingertips!  It’s no more of a time waster than watching the birds in the sky
  • How can sharing knowledge, promoting a business, finding like-minded people be a waste of time?
  • Actually, used appropriately, social media is a time saver. I can spend an hour searching through my desktop and the company intranet for an answer to a question or I can post it to Twitter and get a response in a few minutes. I can spend 15 minutes trying to find the latest version of that report or I can go to the company wiki and know that what I find there is where things are at. Social media is a time waster when we don’t know how to use it properly. When we do, it can be one of the most effective ways to get work done. Really.
  • See point 8.
  • They already have social media (email, phones, etc).  Are they wasting time with them, or using them to work?  Same argument as before: they’ll waste time or not, depending on the work environment, not the tool.  You have to make the environment meaningful and valuable, regardless of the technology!
  • Of course! Have you noticed how, every so often, we have got these wonderful studies that claim millions of dollars have been wasted by all of that time we seem to spend on social networking sites? How those social interactions help us decrease our productivity substantially? Well, how about if we tackle the issues where we would need to: how are business keeping their employees networked, connected, motivated and engaged to do their jobs so that they don’t bump into time wasters?Most importantly, when are we going to have studies done on the huge amount of money and time lost when knowledge workers can’t get their job done because they can’t find that expert or that piece of information while they are still trapped inside their teams and organisational silos when they know and realise that within a matter of minutes, using social networks, they would be able to find them successfully?
  • I think this excuse is thrown up when some over-zealous social media expert does not tie social media to business processes. I don’t know about the rest of you, but we’re busy where I work. I could have a clone, and still not get to everything I need to do. This one was easy to get around though. When I started doing social media, I was doing course development for EMC’s Ionix products. This is a space that is very fast-moving, and the way I kept up on things was RSS feeds.I explained that although it took time to set it up, once I had all my feeds I could scan for what was important to what I was working on. But even more important than the information were the contacts I made. I’d leave comments on blogs, send people emails, etc to connect to people. When I’d get stuck on a project, I knew where  to go for information (and who to go to). When they needed training information, I was their “in” to our dept.Social media ended up saving me time, and this was an easy, practical thing to explain.
  • In this conversation with Diane Brady, Jeff Jarvis mentions that if you use the tools the right way, you can save a great deal of time. http://www.businessweek.com/managing/content/may2009/ca2009058_754247.htm
  • Social media includes instant access to experts and enthusiasts on any topic imaginable, worldwide, with turnaround times measured in minutes. I need to waste more of my time that way, and rely less on plodding intranet searches.
6 – Social media has no business purpose
  • … other than to foster innovation and collaboration.
  • How about a few: connecting people in the organization; pulling people away from their over-stuffed email boxes; helping to answer questions on-the-spot.  My participation with blogging and other social media has been deeply fulfilling and has helped me make business connections that I would have never made (or never even found).  I’ll let someone else talk about the benefits for public-facing social media.
  • Social media is another form of networking
  • Here’s an official U.S. Department of Defense press release on the new (Feb 2010) social media policy–including our rationale for PROMOTING its use (with appropriate safeguards): http://www.defense.gov/news/newsarticle.aspx?id=58117
  • The power of social media marketing is huge, just view these companies using it.  Internally, social media can help with all kind of business tasks, see A Practical Guide to using social media in your job.
  • Have you seen the resources available around the topic “Social Media for your business”?  Have you seen how many businesses use it?
  • Then how come, loads of businesses are using it to promote themselves, their products and their services?
  • The last time I checked, business was about interacting with customers and getting work done efficiently and effectively. Social media can help you do both. Social media is a tool, like a phone or a laptop. And, like a phone or a laptop, it can be used for personal or business-related reasons.  If you don’t see the business purpose behind its use, then you need to do a little more reading.
  • If your customers aren’t on social media, investors aren’t on social media, stakeholders are not on social media, employees are not on social media, competition is not on social media, and you don’t believe in continual learning, keeping track of market trends etc., then yeah, perhaps social media serves no business purpose for you.
  • Again, they already have email. Do you use email for business?  What might they do with the ability to ask questions, provide hints, suggestions, and pointers?  To work together on a problem?  Business is communication.
  • Of course, not! That’s why social media doesn’t humanise your enterprise, does it? Or is it quite the opposite? How about flattening the organisation, breaking down silos, helping knowledge workers find both content and experts much easier, facilitating serendipitous knowledge discoveries, bringing further up clarity, visibility and openness in both how people collaborate and share their knowledge? How about being one of the major drivers in helping build trust levels by tapping into the crucial realm of social capital, which we all know is eventually what drives business nowadays (When was the last time you purchased a product without trusting the vendor? If you have, I think you should question that one first, I’m afraid)? Yes, indeed, social media has no business purpose, or does it?
  • Again, I think so many of the early adopters came through using buzz-words and dreamy scenarios that people with mature business processes were spooked. You can tie this back to reason number 10 (social media is a fad).The reason to use social media has to be tied to what a business does to make money. This means social media is not going to look the same for everyone. If you want to lose your audience when pitching social media, don’t tie it to any important projects. Don’t explain how it can save or earn money. If you can’t say specifically how social media can be used to impact the business, you’re just asking to get this excuse thrown at you.
  • That’s equivalent to saying that expertise has no buisness purpose, since social media is becoming a primary channel for virtuous cycles of expertise sharing.
5 – Employees can’t be trusted
  • The knowledge economy is the trust economy, so you either have to hire new employees or change your business model. More resources at The Trusted Advisor.
  • 5, 7 and 8 are all saying the same thing, though this one says it more clearly.  If you don’t trust your employees, why are they employed?  And if you don’t trust them, I am fairly sure they know it already.  Give them some appropriate, simple guidelines and let them have at it.
  • Employees are more productive if trusted
  • Why don’t you fire them then! Seriously though, trust is a two-way thing, and social media is actually a good way to build trust. This article says: “Social media marketing is a long-term strategy of relationship building to get a consumer to invest in your product. Using similar relationship building ideas will prove to be an effective long-term strategy for getting your employees to invest more of themselves in your company.”
  • This reveals a selection and hiring issue that needs to be dealt with there, not by preventing something that can. Advance your corporate strategies and bottom line. Deal with the root cause, not the symptom.
  • If you don’t trust them, don’t hire them, or if you have already hired them, get rid of them!
  • Oh yes they can if you treat them right. Make them think you don’t trust them then they will go behind your back.
  • You are SO right here. Employees simply cannot be trusted. If you aren’t careful, they might run off and do something crazy like set up a Twitter account that in a few short months changes your company’s image from a joke to a customer service case study in excellence.  Better that they play solitaire on their company-approved laptop. At least you know what they’re up to.
  • If you can’t trust of your employees, why are you in the business that needs employees? Do you trust them enough to let them talk on phones, use email? Then you can trust them with social media. Yeah sure there are sensitivities of using social media on which you should coach your employees, just as you would to use the phone or email. The video talks about employees can’t be trusted to not put up photos on the office party. Well what’s the harm? It’s a great opportunity to tell the world what a fun place to work your organization is, and therefore attract more talent for your organization, especially when the workforce is getting younger (also see point 4).
  • See previous responses.  The tool doesn’t matter.  Either they can be trusted, or they can’t (and if they can’t, you’ve failed, not them).
  • Oh dear, if your employees can’t be trusted, why is is then that you have hired them in the first place? That’s like you trust that robber with your house keys to take care of the house while you go on vacation for three weeks!! Really? You don’t trust your employees? Whether you like it or not, they are your brand, and I do seriously think you should probably take much better care of your brand than no trusting it altogether, don’t you think?In fact, trusting your employees and treating them with respect, care and appreciation will help you take your business into a new ground, one where they will become trustworthy enough to engage in conversations with your customers to keep them happy and engaged. Now, how is that for a bad thing? Is it? Trust them. They are your bloodstream, the DNA of your business, whether you like it or not, so you might as well treat them with respect and treasure their passion and commitment, because otherwise when you may need that blood transfusion to survive you may not longer have a donor…
  • This one is silly. I work in a training organization for a vendor company, and our instructors and developers understand and know the company’s positioning on the products with which they work. We also know our support policies and what we can and can’t say to our audiences. Our organization trusts us to be alone in a room with customers, sometimes at the customer’s own site!Pointing this out usually helps. But then figuring out how to make sure social media fits into existing processes also helps. If you set the expectation that social media is just another way to share information, and all the same rules about sharing information apply, people will understand what to do.
  • If this is true, you have bigger problems than your social media policy! Plus, if you can train your sales, customer service, marketing and PR people to be careful about how they represent the company, you can train everybody in the same way, and inculcate a culture that defines a new social media-savvy “common sense” for how members of your organization represent it.
4 – Don’t cave into the demands of the milennials
  • The whole idea of digital natives is dying – the changing workplace affects everybody.
  • The generation argument is rather flimsy.  Besides, they are all participating in social media on their phones, which you don’t control anyway.
  • It’s innovation, not caving in.
  • It’s not just millennials that use social media.  Facebook stats, for instance, show the user base that has been growing fastest is the 33-54 age range
  • We millennials rn’t demanding it. We just won’t stay or can’t perform optimally w/o it just as u can’t w/o email.
  • What happened to the old adage “the customer is always right?”  If you want their customs, go to where they hang out – millenials or not – you might be surprised!
  • As a ‘Baby Boomer’ I’m not caving into anyone.
  • Is it just the Millenials who are using social media? According to these stats, the 35-55 age group is making some pretty healthy use of it, too. That’s why social networking now outranks email in terms of how Americans are spending their time online. So don’t do it for the Millenials. Do it for all of your workforce.
  • Enough demographic studies show that in India the workforce is getting younger. Wouldn’t you want to create an environment that your workforce relates to and enjoys? Would you want to create an environment that your workforce finds stifling? You could potentially use social media access as a retention strategy.
  • The generational differences myth has already been busted.  The evidence is that what the different generations want out of work really isn’t that different. What workers want are ways to achieve meaningful goals, and they want whatever tools will help them.  If there are new tools, get those tools into their hands!
  • Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics video refutes these ideas quite nicely, as do the regularly-updated statistics on sites like Brian Solis’s blog and Pingdom.
  • Of course! Why should you? After all the vast majority of your workforce are all baby boomers, who will be working still for another 20 to 25 years to come, right? Oh, wait, that’s not that accurate anymore, I am afraid, is it? Baby boomers are alreadyretiring, and in two to three years it would be those younger generations the ones that will outnumber, by far, those older generations. But, it gets even more interesting, still …Those older generations are starting to retire and leave the workplace, and all of the huge amount of knowledge they have accumulated over the course of decades is going away with them. Who are they going to transfer it to, before they go? What tools are they going to use? Email? Instant Messaging? The phone? Oh dear, that doesn’t sound like an interesting outlook into take into account in the next few months, does it? Whether we like it or not, the younger generational working style relying more and more on social tools is here to stay, so the sooner we adopt it and embrace it, the better. The much more amount of critical knowledge we would be capable of not just preserving, but also reusing and augmenting further. Why would you want to reinvent the wheel from scratch once again? Haven’t we all done that far too many times already? If you don’t cave into those demands, I think very soon it would be yourself the one looking out for a new job out there, one where your next boss may be one of those young millennials working for a company that decided to adapt and change to that new and refreshing working style… Up to you. Really.
  • This is a direct result of the digital immigrant (blah blah blah) brainwashing that social media experts tried. Millennials aren’t demanding anything  – at least not the ones I work with. The ones I’ve interacted with are interested in learning how current processes work, and then finding ways to improve those processes.The thing that really makes me nuts about this is that I work with folks who have used social technology since it was invented, heck most of us have deployed the systems on which social platforms run. Some people I know have used instant messaging, online communities, etc for 20 years! If you try to tell them that social media is something new that only 20 year-olds can do, they will tune you right out. The only thing that is new is the technology – but people (like me) have been using these tools for a long, long time.
  • Generational arguments are often intellectually lazy, I think. There are a few researchers who actually do the sociological work to unearth generational characteristics, but most people complaining about generations are really complaining about the youth and relative inexperience of any cohort of young employees. The complainers, when they were young, generated the same shock and horror among their elders too. Also, generational arguments get stale fast. Milennials have mortgages and kids now. The rhetoric is lagging the reality now.
3 – Your teams already share knowledge effectively
  • Really? Homeland Security: information sharing is still not where it should be. How about BP?
  • Excellent.  And how are they sharing that knowledge? E-mail traps knowledge and doesn’t help it spread.  The same goes for document management.  Social media adds to the ability of people to find each other – people who can help solve problems and get those projects out the door.
  • Prove it.
  • I don’t think so.  Public social media tools are being used  (often unknowingly by managers) in organisations to provide teams with sharing and collaborative functionality that are lacking in many enterprise systems, since they are fundamentally top-down content-delivery systems.
  • 1st is it accurate knowledge? 2nd SM can demonstrate its accuracy (see Wikipedia v. Britannica), efficiency, & effectiveness.
  • Define “effectively” – you might find that your ideas and your staff’s ideas are on different sides of the spectrum.
  • No they don’t as they are too worried about others taking their jobs or getting promoted above them
  • That’s because they’re using social media on their personal smart phones and via work-arounds, like proxies. They’re using social media on the DL. You just don’t know it.
  • is so absurd is hardly bears repeating
  • Cool, so you will understand how social media makes it easier to serve this objective.
  • They may share as effectively as they  have been able to, but why would you limit them to what has been possible?  Why not empower them with what is now possible?
  • I can’t imagine a worker today who would agree with that statement. We all know the frustration of not being able to find information/resources we need when we need them, the clunkiness of email as a means of collaboration, and the general inefficiency and ineffectivess of our linear, assembly-line approach to information management and communication. The oft-cited proof of how wrong this assertion is is the relative effectiveness of search engines like Google compared to internal searching capabilities.
  • A wise man once said “E-mail is where knowledge goes to die“, so if you think that your knowledge workers have been sharing their knowledge efficiently through email, I guess you would need to think about it, once again. It’s not happening. Yes, I realise you may have all of that wonderful explicit knowledge captured in knowledge sharing repositories and that you may have a rather solid content management repository strategy, but did you know that only accounts for about 5% of the total amount of knowledge and information generated by your workforce? Indeed, that small fraction.It’s not such a bad thing to complement such wonderful CMS strategies with the adoption of social software tools where tacit knowledge could flourish in a rather rich environment and get combined with all of that Intellectual Capital your business has been capturing for decades. Why neglect the fact that most of the work done today gets carried out through those informal tacit knowledge exchanges where individuals are more in control of their work and knowledge flows giving them an opportunity to manage, much better than anyone did in the recent past, their own personal knowledge? Why neglect the best of both worlds when they complement each other so nicely? Remember, right now, right as we speak, you are already missing out on 95% of all of the knowledge “available” out there.
  • Maybe leaders actually believe this is true. If you know your organization, you know where the gaps are. Would people have more free time to work on higher-order issues if some knowledge sharing were moved to a social platform instead of email? What ways can social media be used to make knowledge sharing even more effective?
  • That’s interesting. What about surprising reserves of knowledge and skill that your employees have which are not called upon in their job role on their team? Social intranet technologies help you draw out these reserves of talent that the formal organizational structure obscures. Why limit their contributions to what your team structure presumes people are supposed to know? There’s a lot more talent there for your organization to tap, distributed in ways you do not know about. If we don’t start leveraging our talent pool more broadly and nimbly, how will we fare against competitors who do?
2 – You’ll get viruses
  • Not if you use a Mac ;) Dave Snowden: “Since I’ve left IBM I’ve had fewer virus attacks working in an open Web environment than I did in a secure corporate environment.”
  • Another non-issue.  Teach people responsible use of the internet.  Oh, and make sure your IT group has the latest patches installed.
  • Cloud computing does not generate viruses
  • Not if you have up-to-date virus protection in place.  This certainly hasn’t stopped people using email, where viruses are rife.
  • Again this is a root issue in IT or training/implementation. if u train, retrain, & follow-up, it will b the same ppl who cont to mess up repeatedly. So take corrective action & remove individual privileges instead of corporate privileges.
  • No more viruses than by using the internet.  Invest in AntiVirus software and EDUCATE your staff in basic internet security!
  • Never have had one in my life from Social Media but have had many from people
  • You might, unless 1) your IT department stays on top of the latest patches, which they should be doing anyway and 2) you don’t communicate with your staff about how to avoid malware attacks. Also, if you insist on using PCs rather than Macs.
  • is the job of the IT department
  • So get better anti-virus protection software and better processes to update your computer with latest patches.
  • That’s a risk with all IT, and your IT department should block that at the firewall.  You don’t block other IT, you still have email, and ERPs, and other software.  Why would you treat this any differently?
  • Avoiding risk by banning activity is like barricading your house and never letting anyone in or out to protect yourself from crime, accidents, or illness. The keys to risk management are to implement sensible protections, educate employees, and provide the necessary guidance for them to leverage the tools in the safest way possible.
  • Errr, no, thanks! I’m a Mac, I work with my iPhone, my iPod Touch and my iPad, sitting right next to my MacBook Pro. Viruses? No, not for this knowledge worker, I am afraid. But even if I were on a Windows platform, I trust the links and information / knowledge shared by my social networks and know exactly what to click and what not. That’s why nurturing them has taken so much effort and energy over the course of the years. They are my social collaborative filter and they feed me with the best content available out there, and no viruses at all. Remember trust? I trust them to help me find the right information, just as much as they trust me to do my bit of sharing and feed them back with what they need. No stinking viruses over here. Thanks very much.
  • Ok – this one is sorta true. One of my least favorite sysadmin moments was the aftermath of the sasser virus. This virus was spread by clicking links in IMs – usually from one of your (infected) buddies. The IM would say something like “hey look at the pics you are in”. Worst memory: chatting with a QA friend, in his cube. I had *just* told him not to click on links in IM. He got an IM from another QA person, and clicked on the link as I said “nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo”.For the record, this is one reason companies started blocking IM. The virus was so nasty, we couldn’t get servers on the network and get them updated faster than the virus would mutate and infect the new server. This impacted customer projects. Not good for the bottom lineI bet I’m not the only person who remembers this. I don’t have a good idea how to counter-act this reason, because I think its a reasonable fear. Sorry everyone!!
  • Yes we will. Not from social media per se, but sure, we’ll get viruses. We already have some, in fact. The only way not to get them would be to detach all computer inputs, including disk drives, networks and keyboards. So you’d have computers. You couldn’t do anything with them, but they’d be secure! Useless, but secure.
1 – Your competition isn’t using it, so why should you?
  • Unless your competition is one of the thousands of start-ups coming to market, or incumbents like Cisco or IBM. Even dairy farmers use social media. You can be sure your markets are using social media to talk about your products and services.
  • You might want to ask that question again.  Even the stodgiest companies have blogs, wikis and other pieces of the social media puzzle running.  And, once again, your customers are probably using it to talk with other customers.
  • Be one jump ahead, be a trail blazer
  • Here are some good links showing how both civilization AND its adversaries are using social media to achieve military outcomes: http://www.au.af.mil/info-ops/socialmedia.htm#adversarial
  • As shown above, a huge number of companies are using it for social media marketing purposes:  A Wiki of Social Media Marketing Examples. And here’s a growing list or organisations using social media in the workplace.
  • Actually an objection: “We want to be on the cutting edge not the bleeding edge.” Well, the bleeding edge has already come & the cutting edge is now or passing. + there isn’t anything that a well-written SM policy can’t solve 2protect u legally.
  • When did you last research your competition?  My competition use it.  And in any case, IF your competition doesn’t use it, all the more reason for you to start – it’s a niche market for you
  • Who cares whether they are or not, it’s always better to be one step ahead
  • If your decision about whether or not to engage in a business activity is based on whether or not your competition is doing it, then you have much bigger business problems than social media to address. Last I checked, one of the key tenets in business was to be the FIRST one to do something innovative, not the last. If your competition isn’t using social media, you, in fact, have a golden opportunity to be first in class. I’d suggest that you seize it.
  • Don’t all business gurus tell you to do things your competition isn’t doing to get ahead in business? Do you really have this as a reason for banning social media at work? Duh!
  • Aren’t you looking for every competitive advantage you can?  Why would you even think of not considering a possible advantage?
  • The obvious responses to this are, “How do you know if you’re not on any social media platforms yourself?” and “Are your competitors the only stakeholders that matter? What about clients and prospects?” The minute organizations start collecting the competitive intelligence to address these questions, they’ll realize the power and potential value of social media.
  • Oh, dear, think again, please; if you are worried about what your competition is doing, or not doing, you are asking the wrong question. It’s not what your competition is doing, but more why are your customers already talking to your competition using all of these social tools and engaging on meaningful and trustworthy conversations? You should be asking yourself why are they talking about your competitors’ products and not your own? You should be asking yourself why are they becoming the brand of your competitors’ products so strongly that other customers and business partners are starting to pay attention to them and listening to them?That’s the set of questions you should be asking about. Whether we like it or not, we are at a point in time where social networking tools are just so pervasive that there isn’t any business out there which may not have been toying with the idea of improving the way they work, collaborate and share their knowledge with customers, as well as internally, using these social tools. You should not be an exception. You can’t afford it at this point in time. If you have, you have already missed out a huge opportunity.
  • I think this one just proves the whole video was a joke.And its easy to prove wrong. Do a Twitter search, do a search for a Facebook presence. Take screenshots, put them in a PowerPoint presentation. Point out how many people are following your competition, and perhaps point out some conversations the competition is having that could impact your bottom line. Send it to your stakeholders.
  • Factually untrue, in our industry. There are social media leaders in our industry, and we aren’t one of them.
And now, some reasons IN FAVOUR
  • To steal from Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist” we learn from others in our population, as the population gets bigger, the better our choice of ‘teachers’.  In my opinion, organisations should encourage social networking to enable employees to break down the walls of their organisation and to learn from the experts ‘out there’.
  • Intelligent use of social networking tools reduces the noise in my Inbox. Now we can use Yammer and Twitter for broadcasting ‘chit chat’ and LinkedIn for touching base, my inbox is for direct messages only.  Hurrah!
  • Simply, the refusal to implement SM is based on a refusal/unwillingness to change/adapt or let go of control, fear of the  unknown, & a fear to see the true reality in an organization instead of the known unreal self-perception.
  • It helps staff retention: http://rossdawsonblog.com/weblog/archives/2010/08/the_future_of_w.html
  • Social Media lets me interact with others in the same area of expertise that I wouldn’t otherwise have met.  I’ve gained so much knowledge and shared so many experiences I don’t know how I could manage without it!
  • I think the horse is definitively out of the barn — I can’t imagine there are all that many org or business leaders out there who haven’t at least grudgingly accepted that we’re well into a new “here comes everybody” age. (Unless you’re, say, Halliburton, or maybe Yale’s infamous Skull & Bones club — e.g. an outfit that couldn’t possibly gain anything but negative or unwanted attention from visibility on the social web.) It’s been at least a year since I’ve had to lay out such rebuttals for anyone doing advocacy campaigning, and my chief client has social-media 100K+ Facebook fans, approx 200 staffers (!) blogging, and scores of staffers advancing their work via personal online identity, on twitter, FB, flickr, youtube & vimeo, and so on.

11. Social media takes up too much of company’s Internet bandwidth hampering other work. (An extra one!)

  • Given the advantages of social media, and reducing cost of bandwidth, it might be a very worthwhile investment by the organization. Investing in bandwidth is probably as critical, if not more, than investing in higher-end machines and laptops.

Other useful links