Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Engineering Enhanced Social Media Skills

Organizational social media literacy is fast becoming a source of competitive advantage.  From blogs to internal discussion boards to YouTube channels - - engineering has entered an era of global conversations and knowledge sharing.  Out is the company sponsored employee newsletter from the 1950's that demonstrates that your company has mastered the art of talking about itself to itself.  In is an organizational culture that cultivates a new technologically linked social infrastructure that by design promotes constant interaction across physical and geographical boundaries, as well as self-organized discourse and exchange.

This new era of enhanced social media skills will require the engineer to play the role of leader as producer.  The ability to lead and manage the development of compelling content creation will be highly valued.  From the creation of video streams to blogs, effective leadership will increasingly require the kind of creative skills we know from the world of "auteur" filmmaking - - an authentic voice, imagination, and the ability to craft compelling stories and to turn them into media products that make people, clients, and customers take note and "lean forward."  The engineer of today must have the technical skills to master the basics of digital-multimedia production, including how to shoot and edit videos.

In most parts of engineering, social media literacy is in its infancy.  Social media provides engineering the opportunity to span functional and divisional silos.  It allows for the creation of "informal organizations" and the potential of enhanced creativity, innovation, and agility.  Engineers need to see social media in the correct light and recognize social media as a disruptive force that will gather strength rather than attenuate.  Greater attention to social media provides an organization with the potential for greater brand equity; the ability to attract and retain better talent; more effective collaboration across internal and external boundaries; stronger alliances; and a higher degree of global colaboration.

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