Chapter Two of The Now Revolution is thought provoking for a lot of reasons. I wouldn’t say that any of the thoughts that I have rolling around in my head are “bad,” but there are some things that I would love to converse with you about. There are also some wonderful things about the chapter that I’m going to share right…now!
Talent You Can Trust
The main core of this chapter is how a company can hire people to imbibe the corporate culture and also move out into the “now” world. Amber and Jay do a great job of detailing this information, including an EXCELLENT recommended series of job interview questions (another actionable item).
The best point in the chapter to me rings true because of the experience of my poor, putrid Cleveland Cavaliers basketball team. The coaches and owners of the Cavs brought in one superstar – LeBron James. He could do everything that Jay and Amber talk about. He could support all of the positions, he could pass, he could shoot (*cough* except against the Celtics in the playoffs) and he could motivate his teammates. Awesome, right?
Well, over time, LeBron became the Cavs. We had other players but they were always in a supporting role. Heck, even our coaches were in supporting roles. When LeBron broke up with the cities of Akron and Cleveland on national television, leaving a gaping hole in our hearts in our team, he created a vacuum that has yet to be filled.
The same can be true if you hire a single Social Media superstar for your company. If they leave without having shared their methodologies and your company’s culture, you’re going to be starting from scratch. And as my Cavs can tell you, that can be a horribly disgusting process.
As you might imagine, this chapter presents this information in a slightly different manner, but it’s a point well made.
How can you be the talent that is sought?
One really interesting thing about this chapter that I haven’t seen anywhere else that I can think of is that it can also serve as an excellent guide for people seeking jobs in this new environment. The advice that this chapter offers regarding how to find talent using Social Graphs, Facebook, Blogs, LinkedIn, and Twitter can be turned around as things to keep in mind if you are looking for a job or think you might at some point in the future. I was totally fist pumping in the Facebook section – words of wisdom about acting professionally on Facebook, even when you think no one but your friends can see what you’re saying, are far too rare in this space.
Other random stuff I liked
When I saw a mention of Frank Eliason, I thought, “Oh lordy, do I have to read this whole story again? Don’t authors in this space read each others’ books?”
Yes, apparently Jay and Amber do. They assume that you know the Comcast story.
They also assume that you know what Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook are, and they seem to assume that you also have some idea of how to use them. These things are appreciated, for my part.
A couple of things I’m wondering about
There are two main things I find slightly disconcerting about this chapter, and both probably have a fair amount to do with my own personal bias.
First, there was not really a lot of attention paid to the idea of consultants, agencies, or other outside personnel. I find this interesting and would like to know the rationale behind this. Factually, a lot of companies right now, it seems, are relying on Social Media superstars (see above risks) or are assuming that agencies and the marketing people can’t digest the culture enough to do everything Amber and Jay talk about. While the chapter does bring home the message of inter-departmental integration (yay!), the chapter seems to assume that you’re going to be hiring everyone you’re working with.
I would venture to say that the job interview Jay and Amber present could also be a great guidepost for how to interview a marketing firm or a Social Media consultant, and I believe that an agency like the one I work for would perform better. I’m not sure Social Media “superstars” are into the culture thing – they seem more invested in offering advice that really could be shot at any kind of person or business, while an agency, as I’ve mentioned before, could be brought into the culture as if it was a many-headed employee.
I am also a bit concerned that this book may not necessarily be geared towards people like me. The language of hiring, replacing personnel, and posting your company’s mission seem directed specifically to the C-suite. Moreover, when Jay and Amber note typical compensation for Social Media Managers (the number $86,000 came from a 2009 research study, and by the way, women in the same capacity were at $75,000, hmm hmm hmm) it seems clear that the target demographic for this chapter, at least, is not the little guy.
I worry about this, because I think a lot of the knowledge in these first two chapters would actually be a lot more significant for a smaller company. Knowing how to create a culture and then maneuver Social Media to your advantage is something small companies must learn how to do. Companies that are already huge already have plenty going for them, and it will be more difficult for them to move with agility and flexibility, no matter how much advice they get.
I’m going to guess that this chapter was primarily written by Amber. Am I 0-2 now? I have no clue 🙂
Image by Stephen Davies. http://www.sxc.hu/profile/steved_np3