Video: Weapons of mass collaboration at SXSW

Social media and building internal connections

Sharing and collaborating doesn’t come naturally to most people, but that mindset is being challenged by social media, said Andrew Grill, IBM global social business partner. In these clips from the Lean back Live livestream at South by Southwest Interactive Grill explained how new social media tools and the growing influence of Millennials in the C-suite is changing the belief that power is built by having information others don’t have.

In his conversation with Nick Blunden, senior VP and global head of digital content and strategy of The Economist Group, Grill noted how social media have become “the go-to resource” to share ideas In his video chat, he discussed how social media can be used as a tool to improve collaboration internally and prepare executives who are not social-friendly to face the Twitterverse.

Networks such as Twitter and Facebook are not designed for collaborating, said Grill: “They were designed to sell advertising, let’s be frank about it.” But new channels are emerging, he said, referencing his work with social influence platform Kred and that of his fellow SXSW panelist Jodee Rich with PeopleBrowsr.

Cultural change can be a big hurdle in getting corporations to collaborate on social media. It has to come from the top, in order to overcome regulatory and internal issues.

As Millennials move up in the corporate hierarchy,  it will help, because many CEOs didn’t grow up with social media. For now, it’s best to start chief executives slowly on internal networks, said Grill.

Once CEOs get involved in sharing internally, they will be surprised by what they find. Then, they can be sold on taking their sharing outside the organization, said Grill.

Regulation is an issue especially in some industries. Banks, for example, don’t have a great rap on social, said Grill. But a combination of empowerment and training programs can help, he said.  Start internally, so “they can get comfortable with how this information is shared.”

There are benefits beyond improving your social profile, said Grill. Social sharing can help build communications channels internally to improve operations: “You have a firehose of data of your own organization.”

Check out the full interview with Andrew Grill on Lean back’s YouTube channel. And stay tuned for more videos from South by Southwest, The Big Rethink US and Big Rethink UK events and more, coming soon.