Pressure for TOP Management is Increasing: Focus on Technology

Modern organizations are increasingly complex across all three dimensions of TOP Management (Tech, Org, People):
  • Technology has become an underlying utility for our organizational strategies -- yet is it constantly in flux
  • Organizations are global, partnered with other organizations and more and more run via virtual teams with limited physical interaction
  • The people of the organization are more diverse given globalization and crossing generations of vastly different backgrounds
Over the next week or so I'll provide examples for each category. For today I'll focus on Technology. Thank you to BL Ochman for providing this example within her post Three Top Ways to Damage Your Brand With Social Media for the blog, SocialMediaToday. Her three points are each examples of using technology without bringing together the organization and the people: 1. Start a Twitter account then don't use it 2. Don't track your brand in social media using either free or paid monitoring tools. 3. Start a social media program, but don't tell the rest of the company about it. Time Warner provides her examples for points 1 and 2; the small company Uprinting.com provided the example for point 3 -- though they acknowledged the problem and seemed to be moving to correct it (the same could not be said for her experience with Time Warner). timewarnerSmall The image tells the story of a problem that has not been corrected in the six days since the post: TimeWarnerCares, doesn't seem to. They have still not used the account and they are still not following any of their followers, who are possibly Time Warner fans. Ochman reports that although she used Twitter to document her service problems - using their Twitter account name - she had no reply in 24 hours. She says, "That's approximately one week in Internet time." This suggests that no monitoring is in place. Time Warner seems to have had someone think that using technology was good -- but that person either wasn't in a position to bring the organization and people onto the project, or they didn't understand that they should. Ochman also provides an example of success - and of a success that seems to cover all of TOP Management's dimensions: Comcast has become famous for their use of the social messaging service Twitter. Frank Eliason, a customer service director, has been using Twitter to support Comcast customers for over a year. BusinessWeek describes him as the most famous customer service manager in the in US, and possibly the world. Monitoring systems are in place at Comcast so they can follow what people are saying about them and/or any problems customers are experiencing. Comcast has developed systems for acting on this information: other customer service reps are available and know how to use the tools. ComcastTwitterBig The moral of the story is that new technologies can be great triggers for innovation -- but the use of the technology should be thought through and integrated with organizational practices and employee skills before going live to almost 30 million U.S. users. --- Update (4/25/2011) These comments were lost when I switched to the Discus tool. I've appended them here to complete the story. See too the comments in Ochman's post. ---

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