A resilient company

coinsby Joe Geranio
Social People and The Big Conversation:
[Via A Journey In Social Media]

Sometimes you get things right. Whether you’re smart, or lucky, or a bit of both — it should be a moment for rejoicing since it doesn’t happen as often as you’d like :-)

It’s struck me that when we put our overall corporate social media strategy together, there were two big themes: encouraging social media skills and applying them to ever-wider conversations.

Looks like that was the right thing to do …

The Germ Of An Idea

David Spencer offered up a telling comment to my last post that confirmed my thinking here.

“At EMC we didn’t tell people where to go, what to play with or what not to play with.

We have smart, social people who feel empowered to represent our brand and themselves at the same time all over the place, and the payoff is nearly automatic.

There are certainly other approaches to take, but I really enjoy the organic growth that our approach has led to.”

He’s absolutely spot-on. That’s exactly what we did.


By empowering its employees, by letting them volunteer rather than be chosen, this company has positioned itself to be able to rapidly deal with the unexpected forces the world throws at a community. Because their online social networks so effectively map real-life social networks (something rarely seen in corporate organizations), they have an added ability other companies lack.

Humans evolved social networks to help them cope with a complex world. The most successful cultures are those with resilience, that allow the entire community to help solve problems. The most fragile are those with a leader at the top, who controls all actions, but who is unable to cope with a changing world.

We have had many years of calm, a Pax Financialis. That is breaking down now, just like the Pax Romana eventually did. We will see more companies like this because they will be the ones who flourish in the coming years. Those following the older models will break and fall away.

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