Listen, Then Sell. Stupid.

Listen first. Then sell. Say the experts. The very same experts who use social media as a communication tool to navigate through the choppy waters of the changing landscape of whatever it is that we are becoming. Or want to become. Or, in the very least, want people to believe.

Here is a video on the very subject of social media as a solution to the shift in communication we see at the office, at home and everywhere between.

But the problem is that the corporate world does not want to listen. Not to employees, not to suppliers and FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, not to customers. (Disclaimer: This is my personal experience working for a large Fortune 500 global company). And by not listening, no one gets a voice.

In fact, a sizeable portion of businesses admit that they don't allow their employees to listen to influences outside the confines of the world of cubes. Robert Half Technology interviewed 1400 CIO's and found that a majority of them (54%) ban the use of social media in all forms.

In an article titled, "Whistle, Don't Tweet, While You Work," the results of the study spell out more than ignorance and bliss. It details a control and conformity issue that is sure to squelch innovation and deter creativity. Not just in the human spirit, but also on an engineering standpoint. What happened to water cooler chatter? Employee engagement? Collecting customer feedback and insight? If people use social media (twitter, facebook, linkedin, flickr, orkit, yada, yada, yada) because they are annoyed with standing in line, waiting on the phone or filling out paper customer service cards, how stupid are businesses for not engaging in social media? Pretty stupid, I think.


But who am I to throw water in the face of blue chip iconic companies bent on not fixing something broken. Unless they are forced to.





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