Show this chart to your executive team today as an early Halloween scare.

Bill Petti linked to the SEED article from where it comes.  His commentary nails the issue:

As more and more people become creators of content it will become increasingly difficult for organizations of all kinds to control their messaging and their brand.  Provide a bad customer experience and it will be on facebook, immediately broadcast to hundreds if not thousands of people.  Discriminate against someone because of their race or sexual orientation and they will tweet about it, likely prompting dozens of re-tweets which allows the issue to reach exponentially more people, who then might blog about it, and so on, and so on.  Organizations are already finding it hard to control their brand, imagine when the number of authors increases 10 fold (which, according to SEED, will now happen yearly). … Additionally, organizations will need to invest more heavily in their own networks and crowds to help combat negative content (whether true or false).

Hospital business will be fine.

Marketplace Headline: “Swine flu threatens hospital business

Allow me to allay your concerns: “hospital business” is going to be fine.

P.S.: Moments like these are a big part of why hospitals exist.  The in-between “elective surgeries, et. al” are what sustain them from crisis to crisis.  We’ve lost sight of that because medicine and public health have become very good at preventing crises.

Traditionalists vs. Contemporaries

Tim Leberecht at Matter/Anti-Matter points to an Economist article:

A survey by the Centre for Work-Life Policy, an American consultancy, found that between June 2007 and December 2008 the proportion of employees who professed loyalty to their employers slumped from 95% to 39%; the number voicing trust in them fell from 79% to 22%. A more recent survey by DDI, another American consultancy, found that more than half of respondents described their job as “stagnant”, meaning that they had nothing interesting to do and little hope of promotion. Half of these “stagnators” planned to look for another job as soon as the economy improved. People are both clinging on to their current jobs, however much they dislike them, and dreaming of moving when the economy improves. This is taking a toll on both short-term productivity and long-term competitiveness: the people most likely to move when things look up are high-flyers who feel that their talents are being ignored.

A drastic fall.  It’s only going to get worse for organizations as traditionalist leaders meet contemporary workers. Leberecht writes:

These are all measures that will very likely deter Generation Y workers, the digital natives who have grown up with the Internet and expect organizations to provide them with much more ambiguity and empowerment than these (companies) were willing to give to their parents. For the Gen Y’ers, Work is no longer just what you do; Work is another way of Life – a meaningful life. It implies a Work-Life package that reconciles passion and profession, meaning and earning, impact and income. A good job is what you believe in – as long as you can abandon it at will. Sure, Work has become invasive, but so has Life, as work performance is being constantly disrupted by the micro-events in one’s digital life feed (email, Twitter, blogging, social networks, etc.). Companies need to learn to convert this distraction into productivity. In fact, this might be the biggest management challenge for the next ten years: Learning how to leverage the tools of distraction to increase productivity – and happiness.

Making an organization the best place to work (really making it the best place to work…) is no small task, but one that will be rewarded.  Figuring out how to integrate social media tools is but one important step.  Work for so long has crept into life, it’s good to see life creeping back into work.

Unfortunately, a chief executive only a few years from retirement is hardly motivated to sack loyal colleagues to bring on board lots of teenagers to turn their company upside down. Psychologically, we are congenitally opposed to tearing down what we have helped create in order to build anew. Hence the status quo prevails, even if it is the demoralising task of managing decline with no salvation in sight. And so all efforts are applied to preservation in spite of a realisation that the economic model is broken – because no one is forcing the company in a new direction.

Luke Johnson, chairman of the BBC’s Channel 4 and head of a private equity firm, in a delightful article about the business perils brought on by our networked world

If health care taught Health Care 101, what would it teach?

Ed Cotton at influx writes of a coffee shop (Intelligentsia Coffee) that has set-up a “lab” in NYC to teach people about coffee.  He then asks a stop-you-in-your-tracks question:

If your brand was to educate people, what would it teach them?

Oh gosh, my mind is flowing with possibilities.  An educated patient would be an informed patient.  An informed patient would make informed decisions.  Could you imagine such a health care world?

Ten topics (how many do you think there could be? 1000s?) that come to mind in a morning brainstorm:

  1. How to make health care decisions as a patient (it would be a year long course)
  2. What health care costs and why
  3. How health insurance works (or doesn’t…)
  4. How health care is paid for (all dollars flow from households…)
  5. How doctors are paid
  6. How hospitals are paid
  7. The complicated (and at times contradictory) relationships of involved stakeholders
  8. The art of medicine
  9. New approaches to delivering medicine
  10. How health care is delivered in the rest of the world

Hospital blocks access to social media to scream to world that “we don’t get it.”

Paul Levy posts a statement circulated at a Boston hospital last week (most definitely NOT his).  It’s a typical we-weren’t-prepared response from a way-too-conservative institution.

Is availability of social media in an extremely private environment scary?  Yes.  But policy-ing your way out of the morass isn’t the answer.  Is sharing private health information inappropriate?  Most always that answer will be yes.

But we trust employees not to share information with co-workers at lunch, a wife at home, or a neighbor in the backyard.  The magnitude of the conversation doesn’t matter.  A full-on embrace of the tools is the appropriate action, complete with whatever reminders the hospital would like to issue (no, more policy is not necessary, there is no need to over regulate employee actions, the policies in place are likely plenty fine).  Reminders like: patients trust their privacy to us: be cognizant of what you are posting online, current policy regarding compliance with HIPAA regulations includes social media, and what you post to these sites can be seen by lots of people, etc. are helpful.

It’s time to stop seeing only the negatives associated with social media tools.  Mr. Levy highlights positive examples of use in his post.  For your own organization: give the power to the employees and let them find the ways social media will make their jobs better.

Enjoy.  Or cringe.

Good morning,

Effective immediately, the Hospital is blocking access to social networking sites including Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter from all Hospital computers.

The decision is based on recent evidence that some employees have been using these sites to comment on Hospital business, which is a violation of the Hospital’s Electronic Communications policy and a potential HIPAA violation.

The Executive Team will be working in the coming months to ensure that we have written policies in place that articulate the appropriate use of social networking sites while on duty at the Hospital. Once these written policies are in place, we have educated all employees about expectations and disciplinary action associated with violating the policies, and we have the appropriate IS tools in place to track utilization and monitor content, we will consider once again providing access to these sites. We expect this will take a period of about 6 months.

In the interim, please note that the Electronic Communication policy states that “incidental personal use of electronic communications systems may be allowed so long as such use does not consume more than a trivial amount of resources, interfere with staff productivity, preempt any business activity or violate Hospital policy”.

Employees are free to use Hospital computers during their break periods to check personal email, or access the Internet, but you should be aware that the policy also states, “employees should not have any expectation of privacy with respect to any information on Hospital electronic communication systems or the contents thereof, including email, internet usage, voicemail, fax or other similar vehicles. [The hospital] reserves the right to monitor, review and inspect all uses and the contents thereof.

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me.