A guide to the stealthy introduction of Social Media to Government and other large organisations.


The Secret Underground to Social Media in Large Organizations

Another guide to social media, to add to our earlier recommendation, and this time it's about the really tough stuff of how to get acceptance in large organisations. It's written by a Canadian government employee Colin McKay.

Colin writes on the SoSaidThe.Organisation site:

I think the advice in this 23 page guide to secretly implementing social media in organizations could be equally useful for any government employee looking to try out new technologies - I’m pretty certain on that point, since I’m a government employee in real life. You can find the guide at this link, and please feel free to share it with your friends, colleagues and bosses.

Colin offers this excerpt, from the introduction:

How do you do it? How do you bring a spirit of innovation and experimentation to the communications shop of a large organization?

I’ve worked in a large organization – the government – for the last ten years. You can find bright, creative and resourceful people around every corner, in every department.

During the course of their careers, many of these people have thought of a move that could improve their work or their environment.

From experience, we all know that small changes in process or presentation are easily won. After all, it’s just another line on an approval sheet, or a tweak on the website.

Large organizations can also be convinced to launch a large-scale overhaul of their systems – whether it’s a supply chain, assembly process or online order system.

But it’s a real pain to get them to rethink their relationship with humans outside the security fence. After all, our customer service reps seem to be doing a good job, right? That sales force really does have a handle on the needs of the community, doesn’t it?

In speaking to hundreds of workers and managers for large organizations (government and private sector), I’ve been asked the same questions, over and over:

• How do you convince your boss to even experiment with social media?

• Doesn’t it mean a lot of extra work?

• Isn’t this sort of stuff blocked by our organizational policies?

It's a great read, blessedly short. In summary, Colin says:

• use social media on your own • adapt social media tools to your work environment • convince your supervisors to support social media work The key? Don’t let your imagination and enthusiasm be dampened by organizational politics or institutional caution.

There a useful list of blogs at the end, covering organisations and the introduction of social media, some which I didn't know about. Oooh, I get a mention for my other blog, so does Dave Briggs and Jeremy Gould.


Excellent and Timely

Thank you David,

Once again you have your finger on the pulse and are providing useful content.

This is a good piece of work. I have been advocating Social Media to a large and arcane organisation and have fallen foul of a few of the things that Colin mentions.

I will be asking for those up the hierarchy who have blocked my work in the past to re-consider what I have been advocating in the context of this excellent guide.


Guide to social media

A shame that anonymous cannot tell us a bit more about themselves, then we might be able to help.

I will certainly read about the Canada experience.

Our great hope in the Canada equivalent of the IRS has gone completely quiet. It is good to see another Canadian able to talk more freely.