Organizational heads exist on all sides of the law. On the one hand you’ve got the c-level executive of a global corporation, and on the other, the gentleman like Al Capone, Frank Costello and yes, even the Hollywood glamorized Tony-Soprano types. Both manage a complex organization of individuals and build relationships with an “If I provide for you, you provide for me”-type foundation. Both are willing to take risks, maintain a level of coolness under pressure, and are concerned with results. And both wear suits and chomp on cigars, to play out the perfect archetype.
So who would benefit more from a private social network?
Both “bosses” need a way to communicate a collective purpose. At the same time, they need oversight into what people are doing—their struggles and accomplishments—so they can influence a new direction as needed. Private social networking provides the platform for leaders to share their thoughts and vision, as well as take a pulse on what’s going on within their organization. People share what they’re working on, collaborate on the latest tasks, and everyone is connected from their mobile device. So if a CEO needs to know what’s going with the latest corporate communications campaign, he or she can tap in. If a gangster wants to know how the thing with the guy at the club went—well, you get the idea.
While it’s fun to talk about how gangsters and CEOs are similar, the real question is how do leaders and organizations alike benefit from a private social network?
Any organization has its secrets. Leaders need to manage how to keep conversations safe and how much people need to know. Collaboration on a new merger or acquisition, for example, needs to be kept private between a select group of employees. Executives need to control who sees what on the social platform.
However, some conversations need to be heard by all employees. Employees need to know what their CEO is thinking, to get an idea of the big picture. Private social networking provides a way for employees to engage with the thoughts of executive management, even if they’re spread across regions and not able to meet in person.
Of course, it works both ways. Some of the wisest CEOs will tell you, “I’m not smart, I just surround myself with smart people.” CEOs need to hear the thoughts and insights from the people they’ve hired. Private social networking allows CEOs and employees alike to leverage the collective wisdom of their organization. At the same time, the platform naturally surfaces talent: the researchers, thinkers, motivators, creators and leaders, versus the mere supporter types. A CEO can quickly figure out who to rely on; a gangster could learn whose the best “consigliere.”
While this is not an attempt to encourage people to break bad and use a social platform to build their criminal empire, quite the contrary, we encourage you to keep your job and stay clean, but perhaps experiment a little with private social networking to see how it can help your complex organization succeed.