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Social Media Transforming Business Models.

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Category: Leadership

Social media has transformed the way companies do business. Betsy Brenner, President and Publisher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (MJS), helps us to understand the dramatic business changes experienced by the MJS.

The company’s business model changed from one where editors decided the content to be published to one where readers suggest what the newspaper should be covering. As a result, readers now communicate with the newspaper and leave feedback with suggested topics of interest that they want to see appear.

According to Ms. Brenner, the newspaper’s editors had to change their ability to listen and use the feedback in a meaningful way.

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Escaping Social Media Pitfalls.

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Category: Academic Insights

Digital faux pas are especially dangerous, since you cannot “un-publish” a tweet. So how do you avoid sticking your foot in your mouth and what do you do when a regrettable comment does make its way into the twitterverse? After speaking with a number of people on the subject, I’ve collected a few more do’s and don’ts.

1) Be careful what you tweet/post because you CANNOT take it back. It will inevitably define you no matter how much you try to dig yourself out of it. Unlike real-life reputations, digital reputations are created very quickly, but both can shatter just as fast. Reminds me of a quote from Benjamin Franklin “Glass, china, and reputations are easily cracked and never well-mended.” Whether we are aware of it or not, the way we connect with others on social media reflects our true identity –permanently.

2) Strengthen your mental edit and delete functions – not every thought needs to make its way to your cyber audience. No matter how mundane or innocuous a thought may seem, you are always one post/tweet away from becoming (in) famous! Many a career has been stalled, a job has been lost, or a lucrative offer revoked from the so-called foot-in-the-mouth disease.

3) If you do make a mistake, move on to recovery mode quickly.

4) If you are tweeting/posting anything to do with your job, check out your company’s social media policy first. Use the power of social media technology to promote and not derail your career. For HR folks, if your company doesn’t have a social media policy, this is a good time to create one! There are many resources to help you with that – Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) comes to mind.

5) Managing your reputation

If all these suggestions are taking the fun out of being spontaneous, consider the alternative – tarnished reputations and the loss of something coveted like relationships, status, jobs, etc.

Social media is the great equalizer – it doesn’t discriminate among novices and seasoned users. Every mistake (and mis-tweet) has the power to imperil the author!

Tell us what you use to guide your communications and exchanges on the variety of social media platforms.

Do you use different tactics for different media?

What does work and what doesn’t work?

How do you use social media to promote your career?

Share with us your favorite stories about social media missteps!

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Tips for Managing Virtual Teams.

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Category: Professional Perspectives

Kim Beckett shares tips useful for companies that are using virtual work teams. She joined Diversey in 2002 and has served in positions of increasing responsibility in the company’s Global Human Resources organization. In her current position as senior manager, Global Talent Acquisition, she is responsible for the design of Diversey’s global Talent Acquisition and Assimilation program.

Virtual teams are becoming increasingly popular as companies struggle to cut travel costs and still maintain global team synergies. For managers, it is essential to understand their roles and responsibilities in leading a virtual team.

No matter if the team is virtual or traditional (place-based), the manager must possess a skill set that enable the teams to achieve their goals. However, the skill set changes slightly for a virtually led team. The manager must build trust, communicate effectively, maintain strong technical skills and develop a cultural intelligence, while still applying traditional leadership skills.

Tips for Success:

  1. Draft a virtual team charter to create a successful virtual team. You should explain your mission, define objectives, assign each person a role and, most importantly, delineate the decision making process.
  2. Communication etiquette is also very important. Quickly establish a standard, so all team members understand what is expected of them. Your ground rules may include expected email response time and appropriate behavior for conference calls and video conferences.
  3. Conduct the initial team meeting face to face whenever possible. Studies have shown that team members who have met in person are more committed.
  4. Make all your actions as the manager transparent. Team input is very important, as is communicating information back to as many team members as possible. Be assessable and responsive; virtual managers need to encourage and model open communication.
  5. Create team profiles of interests, hobbies, and areas of expertise. If your team has not had the opportunity to meet in person, you may want to consider adding a picture of the team member.

What has worked for you in managing virtual teams or being on a virtual team? Let us know.

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