The warning signs were everywhere. But like a bull facing a red flag I charged
forward because I can’t resist a challenge, or revenue for that matter! The small nonprofit organization, funded by city
tax dollars, indicted that they were looking for a marketing change. But I suspected the odds of success were a
Resistance to change, by executives and
workers alike, is considered a central problem of most organizations. And LinkedIn provided plenty of evidence on
why a social change initiative would be difficult. The CEO did not have a profile and neither
did the head of HR. A lead HR person
without a social profile; I asked myself, how was that even possible in today’s
networking economy? In fact, he required
me to provide references that weren’t on my LinkedIn profile. I almost considered faxing them to him because
his fax number was still displayed on his business card. Finally, there were no social employee
advocates I could look to for support.
It was as if their culture took pride in staying off the social grid.
Their LinkedIn company page, as well as
their Facebook page, Twitter profile, YouTube channel and all other social
platforms was actually still under control of individuals outside of their
organization. By that I mean the profile
admin (owner) was either a former employee or former agency employee that had
initially set up the profile for them.
It was obvious they did not think of their social capital as a strategic
asset and that a social media policy and procedures process was the farthest
thing from their mind.
In highly micromanaged organizations,
were change agents are often considered a threat, the probability of new ideas
or change initiatives thriving is not great.
In fact, I felt like a gym owner who had just sold a membership to someone
who would never come in and would eventually churn. You receive short-term revenue, but it
crushes your spirit when you realize the client is in total disregard their own
well-being. And at this point I was only
into the second day of my engagement.
There have not been any recent postings
or activity. Dead silence since my exit. Here are my own observations from the
1. Executives must
lead by example. The surest way to kill a change initiative is for management
to continue old behaviors.
2. Don’t waste your
time and budget. If you really don’t
want to change, don’t. No, ignoring the
problem won’t make it go away. But the inconsistent
behavior your employee’s are observing is destroying your credibility whether
you want to admit it or not.
to let go. Chances are your resistance
to change is grounded in fear and so you micromanage every detail. You fear losing control of situations you
were never really in control of. Letting
go is easier said than done. But let go