This may seem like a contradictory post given my continued belief that social tools will revolutionise the workplace but I do get frustrated at a common naivety about what this will take.
There are many aspects of organisational life and the work of managers that is tough, really tough. Grappling with the human condition in hand to hand fighting is the lot of many a middle manager and there are some things that are painful and difficult to do – no matter how much you blog or tweet about them. I have had to face grown men, old enough to be my father, in tears about what their organisation was doing to them. I have had to cope with staff involved in industrial tribunals who stretched the line between them and their employers. These things are scary and managers have to deal with them. This is why they get jumpy about suddenly being expected to open up and blog about everything – it is isn’t going to happen.
At least not in the short term.
This is where the real work is. Getting away from the superficial “new shiny thing” characteristic of much thinking about social media and helping it finds its place in the real world. Finding a way through the tough stuff of making things happen and helping the workplace move out of the industrial era into something a whole lot more sophisticated and productive.
This isn’t going to happen over night but it is bloody exciting!