@dorieclark’s post on transparency and leadership draws attention to both the need and the opportunity that social media offer executive leaders to put themselves out there, known by their stakeholders.
Yes and yes, but there’s more. The famous example of Paul Levy’s blog on how to run a hospital dates way back to 2006 (!); his example of using Youtube to make video messages for the global company network offers a handy and economical mechanism, but of course it’s for one-way (and, for example, UBS has had their own closed-circuit company TV channel for many years – I remember being interviewed on it more than a decade ago).
Point is: 2.0 is 2-way, engaged, social rather than broadcast, transparency through interaction in place of statement, web 2.0 used to its complex multi-layered exponential advantage – and, as it were, corporate governance 2.0 as we have government 2.0 in the public sphere.
Which isn’t to say that execs need to spend all their time chit-chatting with whatever Qwerty-qualified interlocutors wish to catch their attention. Plainly. But sampling, risking actually saying things, learning free of the corporate filter what stakeholders and potential stakeholders actually make of things. And, back of that, as I don’t tire of saying, immersing themselves in the social culture which defines the rising generation and offers the leading edge experience of every emerging market.
A very particular transparency results when leaders mix with mere mortals, and the risky joy of social is that it enables exactly that. That’s why I admire the way @rupertmurdoch has jumped into Twitter this year, plainly tweeting for himself (he isn’t a good typist). He says he reads the incoming, and I can believe it. Make what you will of him, he has a brilliant capacity to engage in popular markets for ideas and communication, and he realizes that Twitter is a (one could argue the) core knowledge pathway of today. It may not endear him to those who were unendeared by him before. But this man is learning.
And in the process he is setting a tremendous example to every News International exec – indeed, every one in the Fortune 500 – of the need to risk engagement with social media. If he would go one step further and be more evidently responsive, it would be even better.
Corporate governance 2.0 has yet to take much shape. Let’s get to it.