Social business – the preserve of the independent practitioner, macbooked, latté’d and unwired? It is easy to see how this view pervades. Check who is tweeting and blogging, and it doesn’t appear like there are many who get a regular payslip. This may not be surprising when stats (however accurate) are continually banded about that suggest that half of corporate employees find social platforms blocked by the leviathan’s portcullis. But that still leaves half of organisations with the gates wide open. That’s a lot of people.
Within those organisations, many of the more actively engaged social technology users may well hide behind a pseudonym or maintain at least a degree of obscurity for fear of the tap on the shoulder, whether real or highly unlikely. However the power of social to change behaviour – reverse character engineering – may well give them away. These changes benefit both the community and the individual. Being more social can help with being more individual.
Here are a few possible signs.
They credit sources, rather than concealing them or claiming insight as their own….which also shows they know insightful people, are aware of what they say, and listen.
They share stuff, rather than keeping it to themselves in the event that they may need it later – which also shows that they know where to find good material and ideas, and highlights that they may be a good “go to” person.
They open their IP and are prepared to donate it, which also shows that in knowing a lot of stuff, if they are prepared to give this much away they probably know more that hasn’t yet been tapped into and so are a likely source of great insight or information.
They deliberately expand their network in a targeted way, shunning the usual professional bodies that most sign up to feeling they should rather than understanding that they can build a more productive network by applying time and energy to social – which shows that they take networking seriously, and are discerning judges of character.
They are willing to answer your questions when you need help, or direct you to someone who can answer, which also shows that they are prepared to spare time, however busy they are, to help.
They display a willingness to ask questions in a humble and open manner, which also shows they are aware of their limitations and acknowledge the contribution their colleagues can make.
They are not afraid to exhibit their vulnerability, through a willingness to experiment, present, test ideas and thoughts, and admit to failure and uncertainty – which also shows that they will respect you for doing the same, and give permission for you to do so.
Or, of course, they might just troll you.