At the heart of it, social computing really is all about enabling conversations between two or more people in an open environment. By making conversations more public, we can all learn from each other. The benefits are very similar to the trend of open source development. Social computing promotes open conversations instead of ‘behind closed doors’. In doing so, we encourage learning and collaboration. And that leads to better decision making.
So how should CIO’s be leveraging social media in their careers and for the enterprises they serve?
Participating in Conversations
First, future IT leaders can begin adding their voice to public conversations happening about subjects important to the IT industry. If you aren’t participating in the public conversation, you can’t influence it. My research, 2009 CIO Award Winners Are Not Embracing Social Media, found that 35 industry award-winning CIOs and IT leaders are not active in the social media. These and future award winning IT leaders should be sharing their thoughts in a public space, not only behind the closed doors.
For one perspective on this topic, John Suffolk, CIO of the UK Government discusses his views on blogging in Should CIOs blog publicly? and his views on the evolving role of the CIO as a Chief Collaboration Officer.
Gaining Business Leverage
Secondly, CIOs can help the business leadership team in achieving goals for the enterprise by providing leadership and guidance on how to leverage social computing and collaboration platforms, both internally and externally:
- Learn how transformational social media can be to helping increase growth and/or drive productivity to improve the bottom line.
- Work with business leaders to find ways to embed social computing into the framework of every enterprise business process, including product development, marketing, sales, and customer support.
I’ve compiled links to resources, blog posts, and articles that can help you understand just how transformational social media can be. Check them out at: Social Media Case Studies and Lessons Learned.
To work smarter, we’ll need smarter organizations — enhancing and benefiting from their people’s expertise, enterprise and creativity, rather than inhibiting them. CIOs can lead in transforming the collaborative infrastructure and processes of our places of work by enabling social conversations that will allow employees, partners, and customers to take advantage of the full scope of an instrumented, interconnected and intelligent planet.
Interested in following some CIOs that are active in the social media? My research Top 50 CIO and IT Leaders in the Social Media, provides you with a list of CIOs who are setting an example for others on how to leverage the social media. Explore their blogs and tweets, learn from them, and perhaps you can start adding your thoughts to the conversations as well.
Want to be more active in the social media, but not sure how you should get started? Check out my post Leveraging Social Media: 12 Steps To Develop Your Personal Online Brand.