I watched a few football games on my cross-country flight yesterday. What I came away with was the realization of just how important the entire team is to the game. I watched several situations where a player caused his team some grief or heartache by making a poor choice or by executing poorly on a goal. I also saw the absolute chain of command that reaches all the way from an active owner, to the head coach, to the quarterback, and down into the entire team. No one in the system makes a decision independent of the greater outcome, and yet, everyone has responsibility to move independently within the system.
It dawns on me that social media is filled with solo players.
It’s no surprise that so many people have trouble convincing companies to take an action to adopt social media tools and methods. The company is a team that has some sense of a system, and many of us are rushing in and saying that this set of tools is really the next big thing, and yet, when the company looks at what we’re talking about, it seems like a solo sport, the way we talk about it.
Is this making sense?
We think about companies using social media and we name their one person assigned to the task. Sometimes a company will have a few more employees doing it, but then they’re just shadows of the functions of the “main” person doing it. A team isn’t made up of only quarterbacks. I watched last night how kickers could impact a game. I watched how linemen have to switch from pushing people to running hard when the opportunity came up (multi-talented).
We’re building a cluster of solo players out there on the field when what is necessary is a team methodology with all kinds of touchpoints, system connectors, and deeper communications/strategy channels. I, for one, intend to change the way I present this to the large companies I work with. And though the analogy doesn’t hold as accurately for a very small business, you can understand how the integrated approach, with many hands in the social media huddle, is the better way to play.
What say you?
Photo credit Paul Keleher