Bonnie Cheuk responded to my post about hierarchies with a couple of very revealing stories about the challenges and risks of saying what you think in a conventional, hierarchical culture. I cover these challenges in my book from which I have lifted this paragraph:
Maybe your boss is nervous because he understands the potential of social media all too well. Once people learn that they can find each other, share their knowledge and work together the roles of many managers will change if not disappear. This is frightening. However the good managers will make the effort to adapt and will continue to add value in the more networked world we are moving into. Many of them will be old enough to have children active on the web and may not be comfortable talking to them about it. Or they may get the point of social tools outside work but not see how to map them to the business context. Why not help them? Why not help your boss to understand the benefits for their business and them as individuals of getting to grips with the social network world? There is a real danger that we assume that our boss knows everything. Often they don’t and may be embarrassed about admitting this. Make it easy for them to do so.
I don’t underestimate the challenges in doing this but if you can’t even broach the subject with your boss then your problems go much deeper than social media.