“Sharership is the new Leadership” Sylvie Sasaki Property Plan A project manager at Marks and Spencer blogging today in Building reminded me this great comment from Jim McLelland @SustMeme), illustrating how social media has progressed to a powerful medium for sharing valuable information Something not fully recognised or acknowledge by many construction organisation leaders.
Indeed what is key for leadership is to ‘enable‘ sharing through social media, yet many leaders don’t encourage, even actively discourage the use of social media, presenting a negative rather than positive role model. And this presents problems for a digital construction future. I still hold by comments I made in the Guardian Sustainable Business pages back in 2012:
The biggest barrier to social media take up lies at board and director levels. Most staff within construction organisations will use social media in some personal capacity, a skill and resource to be harnessed for organisational good.
The first and perhaps the most dynamic step an organisation can therefore take in embracing social media and in preparing for Building Information Management, is to ensure that construction directors and boards understand the benefits that managed social media strategies can bring, and enable real open sharing and collaboration.
Sylvie Sasaki Property is right to warn against online networks becoming silos. Yet we can see an emergence of a new connected construction generation, connected in real-time across organisations, sectors and countries, indeed across existing silos, often under the umbrella of hashtags, forming digital communities of practice.
These groupings of sharing conversations, with focus on sustainability, building information management and collaborative working, with participants that are both generous and expert. Helping others long before and after help is needed and in one or more areas that others value and acknowledge. A prime example is the #UKBIMCrew digital community
And all this represents additional pressure on leaders, and on the importance of having robust social media strategies and protocols in place for staff. Indeed the rise of social media has led to a communications shift in the way construction shares information and participates in conversations. Now based on engagement, relationships and trust, replacing the historical construction approaches of competitiveness, and fear of sharing.