Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Social Media Tools Are a Boon For Managers

Today I went to attend a presentation on the Millenial Generation by Lynn Lancaster, the author of the book, The M Factor. I tweeted multiple times from the presentation. I was gone for a couple of hours from my desk. David Ludlow, my manager follows me on twitter and had already noticed all my tweets from the presentation. When I can back we quickly discussed a few points and moved on to getting some work done. Sounds as if nothing happened right? No. Actually a lot of thing went unsaid.
My tweets from the presentation hall, gave David a clear idea about where I was and what I was doing. He was getting (if he chooses) an update on what I was observing and what I was making a note of. Since he is very interested in the topic of millennials, I believe that it was also an informal learning experience for him. When we met after that presentation, there was no need for me to brief him, no need to write a report and yet he had visibility into what I was doing on a very very granular level. We quickly moved on to our worksession without any distractions.

This ability of managers to keep an eye on their team members' activities at a very granular level (if the team members are willing to share information at that level of granularity) without intruding or micro managing is a great advantage for managers. Employees who use social media tools withing their company to share frequently and in context, normally do not need to brief their managers separately or write reports about their activities.

This works both ways. Managers who want to provide visibility of their activities to their team members can do so using social media tools. Did I mention that David can read this blog post, if he chooses to?

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