A disruptive approach to listening to your customers

“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine as children do. It’s not just in some of us; it is in everyone. And as we let our own lights shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.” From the movie Coach Carter, 2005

Alright, a bit much to use a movie quote in a blog post but it feels like a good follow-up to my last video post.

In many organizations the idea of using social media tools is viewed as a waste of time with no value for the company.  As Robert Half noted in their 2010 survey, 38% of CIOs are tightening up their security policies, doing more to make sure that these channels are blocked within their organizations.

Ann All, who writes at IT Business Edge, asked if jerks make better innovators, an interesting post and an interesting question.  While it often feels this way, I tend to agree with my twitter friend, Gabriel Gheorghiu, who felt that frustrated people, not jerks, were the key to innovation.

If you are not a senior leader in one of these organizations, how do you affect change?  In general, a strategic approach supporting a business case demonstrating greater profitability is the key.  However, there are some organizations that are completely closed and fighting a more straightforward and logical battle will not cut it.  It’s time to use guerilla innovation techniques.  Here are a couple of ideas, I hope they help.

  • Email, I hope, is still allowed in your organization, right?  Use Google Blog search alerts to watch blog-related mentions for your company, its competitors, and the marketplace you are in.  Simply do a search, click on Everything (on the left), choose Blog, and then at the bottom of the results page you will see a link that says “Create an email alert for…”.  Set this up and you begin to shift into a listening mode.
  • Want to listen through the day.  Use Google’s Update search to get social media updates, in real-time.  Again, do a google search, click on Everything (on the left), and choose Updates.  You will get real-time updates from Twitter, Facebook, FriendFeed and countless other social networks.
  • RSS Feeds still rule, in my opinion. Use Google Reader to track updates from various sites.  Yes, your CIO might be blocking this if you are in that 38% group.  However, give it a try, you may be surprised.

People that are satisfied with the things as they are rarely make any impact.  Do not let fear or lack of self-confidence impact your  ability to affect positive change in your organization.   This change might just lead to a more responsive organization, one that your customers, your citizens, will be happy to do business with.


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Filed under: Random thoughts Tagged: Social Strategies, Twitter
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