The Social Business Naysayer & how to deal with them…
A slightly tongue in cheek post: 6 people types you may meet at work, a motley collection of enterprise social business naysayers…;-)
1) The Antiques Dealer
Common riposte from this social business naysayer: “‘what’s wrong with e-mail?’ thought they tend to forget that when e-mail was introduced they said the same thing about that. Not so much a late adopter as a laggard after the event. Like Hegel’s zeitgeist theycan never ever be wrong, as the always arrive after the party only to complain against the next one.
Winning tactic: Nod in agreement do nothing. Eventually they’ll catch up when there’s something newer to carp about.
2) The New Old Romantic
Commonly heard saying: “It’s just New Media all over again”‘ the New Romantic naysayer is often found in the advertising department. They twitch suspiciously about anything social on the software front and tend to listen to Bryan Ferry.
Winning Tactic: Play on their vanity and ask if they follow David Lynch on Twitter (or if Mr Lynch follows them).
Frequent lament: ‘It cannae take it any more Capn’.. This person isn’t so much against social media at work, they just think it’s might break what’s already there and more worryingly, overload the heads of the employees. People they argue are already busy enough and don’t need any more stuff to contend with.
Winning tactic: agree with their concerns but point out that people are a lot cleverer than is being given credit and can work out how to manage their time. Also point out that used correctly, social software can save time and reduce the overload.
4) Private Frazer
Banshee cry: “We’re all doomed, doomed DOOMED!” Another dour Scots approach (are all television Scots this pessimistic?) , the Frazers think the worst on all occasions and are convinced that social media inside the firewall will bankrupt the company.
Winning tactic: ply with Irish whiskey and when sufficiently lubricated ask if not using social software might be even more risky and might cost far more in the long run. Point out that a pilot can be very cheap, much cheaper than traditional IT rollouts.
(For my American readers: Private James Frazer)
5) The Commandant
Frequent order: “Resistance is futile”, the Commandant runs a Command and Control culture. The idea of Enterprise 2.0 tools and people actually being able to contribute and engage in dialogue, rather than being told what to do, frightens the living daylights out of them. Communications they believe are 1-way: all else is anarchy.
Winning tactic: don’t argue whatever you do. Ask if they would like to know what people really think (not the stuff they say in the employee surveys) and who the real trouble-makers are and wait til the penny drops. Keep fingers crossed that they don’t decide the biggest trouble-maker is the person who suggested a social business plan in the 1st place.
6) The Janus Face
Common cry: “Social Media is the way forward, it’s the best thing since sliced bread”. Great? No, they say this in public but in private torment themselves with all the other 5 worries. They know they have to be seen to support enterprise 2.0 and a social business strategy and to present a positive face. In truth however they fear and loathe all that it represents and will do everything and anything to secretly block its progress. The archetypal Social Business Naysayer, but in disguise…
Winning tactic: call their bluff, preferably in a public place with decision-making consequences…