What? Yet another social media tool has just shown up? Between Facebook, Twitter, Tumbler, etc. is there any way that a CIO can keep on top of this fast changing area? For that matter, would it ever be possible for a CIO to find a way to harness the power of social media in order to become more productive and improve how the IT department is being managed?
Become A Channel Changer
As you may have guessed by now, the major problem with being a CIO is not that you don’t have enough information, but rather that you are deluged with too much information in the form of emails, Instant Messages, and plain old printed memos. Unfortunately, this is so common that it’s almost a part of the definition of information technology. There has to be a better way.
It turns out that the answer to this problem may come from social media. That online tool that has being getting so much press lately, Twitter, could be the best way for to you get the information that you need and to cut out all of the other distractions.
Here’s how it would work. You’d need to set up a new Twitter account just for your high priority communications. Set this account to follow all of the Twitter accounts of the people who report to you. Also follow any of your key clients and your trusted colleagues from across the business.
Once you’ve done this, tell all of these people that the best way to get in touch with you is via sending you a Twitter direct message. You can even download the Twitter app to your smartphone and configure it so that Twitter direct messages show up in real time.
What you are going to find is that when the people who are trying to contact you are limited to only being able to send you 140 character messages, they are forced to get to the point much quicker. You’ll get the information that you need, when you need it, and how you need it.
Link Up With Your CIO Friends
They say that no man is an island. It turns out that no CIO is an island either. In order to grow and improve as a CIO you are going to need a support network of other CIOs and peers who work in the IT sector. The question is how best to set this network up?
This means that you’ve got to identify 5-15 people that you want to have provide you with guidance and direction in your career. After you’ve identified them, start to follow them using the various social media tools that you have. Create Google+ circles, Facebook friends lists, and Twitter lists.
This is the group of people whose status you will want to stay on top of. Make sure that that you reach out to them when you encounter a tricky situation or when you are facing a specific challenge. If you know what’s going on in their life, then you’ll be able to determine who is available to help you out.
What All Of This Means For You
All of the new social media tools that have shown up lately are a mixed blessing. They are great ways communicate; however, they can contribute to the sense of being overloaded that CIOs are already feeling.
If as a CIO you can find ways to harness the power of social media, then you can take control of how people communicate with you. Setting up a private Twitter account is one way to provide immediate access to you to a limited set of people. Taking the time to follow a small group of your peers is a fantastic way to stay in touch with them and to make sure that they’ll be there when you need their help.
Social media is something that won’t be going away. CIOs need to find ways to make social media work for them, not against them so that they can show the rest of the company the importance of information technology. Use these suggestions and see if getting “plugged in” helps you to do your job better.
Question For You: Which of the many social media tools do you think is best suited for use at work?
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What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time
At every company, the CIO has a lot of different things that he or she is expected to be able to accomplish. At the same time, there are many things that are going on in the business environment around them. The entire company realizes the importance of information technology; however, at the end of the day, the big question that every CIO needs to be able to answer is out of everything that they have on their plate, just exactly what are the hot items that really do deserve their attention?