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Championing Change From Within

Championing Change From Within

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Published by Brian Solis
Social Media is as revolutionary as it is evolutionary. It represents an important chapter in the ongoing saga and transformation of new media.

Over the years, we’ve witnessed that the 10 stages of social media integration in business are almost always set in motion by an internal champion who is determined and impassioned to engender change from the inside out. These champions emerge from different disciplines and departments and are typically role agnostic. Depending on the organization, champions exist in customer service, communications, marketing, interactive, as well as executive management. The change that these champions engender will ultimately represent a revolution in the spirit, philosophy, vision, and framework for organizations, one that increases market relevance and dramatically enhances the opportunity for affinity and fidelity.
Social Media is as revolutionary as it is evolutionary. It represents an important chapter in the ongoing saga and transformation of new media.

Over the years, we’ve witnessed that the 10 stages of social media integration in business are almost always set in motion by an internal champion who is determined and impassioned to engender change from the inside out. These champions emerge from different disciplines and departments and are typically role agnostic. Depending on the organization, champions exist in customer service, communications, marketing, interactive, as well as executive management. The change that these champions engender will ultimately represent a revolution in the spirit, philosophy, vision, and framework for organizations, one that increases market relevance and dramatically enhances the opportunity for affinity and fidelity.

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Published by: Brian Solis on May 30, 2010
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05/30/2010

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Championing Change from Within
By Brian Solis, blogger at BrianSolis.comand principal of FutureWorks, Author of the new book 
Engage! ,
Co-Author 
,Putting the Public Back in Public Relations
and 
Now Is Gone
Social Media is as revolutionary as it is evolutionary. It represents an importantchapter in the ongoing saga and transformation of new media.Over the years, we've witnessed that the10 stages of social mediaintegration in business are almost always set in motion by an internal champion who isdetermined and impassioned to engender change from the inside out. Thesechampions emerge from different disciplines and departments and are typically role agnostic. Depending on the organization, champions exist in customer
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis
 
service, communications, marketing, interactive, as well as executivemanagement. The change that these champions engender will ultimately represent a revolution in the spirit, philosophy, vision, and framework fororganizations, one that increases market relevance and dramatically enhances theopportunity for affinity and fidelity.Champions however, are the beginning of an important movement, a mainspringthat needs the alignment of more formidable allies and platforms to impact the business overall.Social Media champions are often referred to as change agents ortrust agentsastheir dedication rouses and inspires trust within their organizations as well as within the social communities that define their landscape of influence. Monikers we haven't yet seen to define these advocates are ones that actually reflect theirnext stages of growth and advancement. Inevitably all champions becomepoliticians and ultimately diplomats in order to truly become change agentsacross the entire organization. The difference is that a champion represents acatalyst for defining and presenting the case for adaptation and experimentation.They either do so by acting now and apologizing later, and/or they review andcurate case studies and success stories in order to earn support for an official,funded pilot program. As experience is established and initial successes are presented, champions arethen challenged by inspired believers or worse, the opportunists within theorganization who realize that social media represents an opportunity for personaland professional advancement. Internal competition ensues and without formalgovernance or training, social media becomes a landscape that resemblescorporate anarchy.Change agents are not martyrs however, and their passion is not overthrown by the materialization of opportunists. Their fervor is only intensified as they earnand build networks of support within as well as outside through online andoffline engagement. Eventually our champions realize that they must becomepoliticians in order to stimulate and advance social media adoption across theentire company. To do so effectively and with meaningful results, it is critical that
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis
 
social media earns the attention, support and focus of the executives who holdthe wheel for steering the current and future direction of the company.Politicians understand that in order to reach the greater goal of the cause they sopassionately believe in, they must also lobby on behalf of that cause among thepolicy makers and change agents that exist in key posts at every level. In doing so,a wave of validation and constituencies will rise and grow as it migrates towardthe heart of the organization.Through every experiment, success, or failure, the understanding of social mediaonly intensifies. As such, social media programming will grow more sophisticatedover time - representing a new age forsocial media. In many ways, the potentialfor social media is beyond the grasp of any one individual and as such, politicians become diplomats to introduce experiences across the organization in sensitiveand effective ways. While social experimentation starts and flourishes within one department, every outward facing group as well as those affected by inbound and surroundinginfluence, will need to socialize (whether it's through engagement or simply by learning through observation, listening and research). What begins as a bottom-up movement requires a top-down directive to precipitate a formal renaissancesparked by champions, lobbied through politicians, and promoted throughemissaries.The socialization of media creates a vital, plugged-in business channel and assuch, support from the C-suite is mandatory. However, many executives are notclear in how they should lead transformation and therefore require guidancefrom those politicians who have successfully lobbied for and earned support. Asdiscussed in my next book , the creation of New Media Councils or Advisory Boards are imperative to the expansion of socially-aware programs and thedepartments and resources that can support and scale with them.The question of who owns social media suddenly dissipates in favor of adiscussion that is far more substantial and productive. It's a collaborative process
(cc) Brian Solis,www.briansolis.com- Twitter, @briansolis

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