Battling the culture... its time for a change in business approach

Isn’t it time that IT departments lost the command and control mentality particularly as we move to a new business paradigm that is more open to collaboration.

I have been to several talks recently that have insisted that organisational change is key to businesses adopting a more collaborative approach and improving its communication through online social networking tools, like Facebook and twitter.

One of the main take-aways from the Corporate Social Networking Forum in London a few weeks ago (8 June) was that cultural change is the biggest obstacle to companies adopting social networking as part of their business.

That command and control culture is of course hard to break when marketing blunders are made on social networking sites like twitter. Rebecca Thomson recently pulled together a top 10 marketing blunders on twitter story, one of which is the howler made my Habitat recently.

Habitat blamed its invidious marketing and promotional tweets using the same hashtags as being used by those protesting in Iran following its elections, on an intern that had been inadequately briefed.

You can imagine that this sort of misuse would easily force a company to go back to its old command and control culture and lockdown external activities to prevent brand damage.

Of course, a shortsighted view such as this would stifle creativity, collaboration and communication. The Habitat example demostrates to me that those who treat social networking without the seriousness it deserves will pay the penalty by invoking poorly thought-out strategies. These run the risk of inflaming online communities and damaging the brand.