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Posts Tagged ‘viral’

The Intersection of Social Media, Organization Change, and Complexity Science

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An interesting intersection exists in organizations between social media technology and practices, knowledge management programs (including communities of practice), learning strategy, change leadership, and organizational philosophy about the use of each.

Social media can be leveraged internally in organizations in the form of collaboration systems, learning management systems, blog and tweet tools and social networking tools (whether they are exclusively behind the firewall or leverage public spaces such as FB, LI, and twitter).  Use of these tools in conjunction with a change initiative can also have reciprocal value in that it can increase utilization / adoption of the social tools and processes as well.

Change initiatives within organizations absolutely should consider the social fabric that currently exists, the technology currently available and used within an organization, and the informal leadership that have significant influence via the social network. These should be considered as part of the overall change plan and included explicitly in the form of communication plan tactics and tactics to help identified stakeholders and stakeholder groups to transition along the change curve.

Change management / leadership consultants (whether internal or external) should become familiar with social / organizational network analysis (SNA / ONA), types of web 2.0/3.0 and social technologies available and used within client organizations, and understand how the world of social networking is a critical element of organizational culture and change behavior.  Conversely, the use of social tools and processes in conjunction with a change initiative should be considered in conjunction with an overall organizational social media strategy.

The social world we now must understand and leverage does add a layer of complexity to our work. Understanding organizations as complex adaptive systems (via complexity science) can be an extremely helpful lens as we (consultants) analyze current state and develop change plans accordingly. In the end, it’s all about creating environments where positive change can emerge and social networks often (maybe even always, now) play a central role.

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Video+Story+Connection+Humor+Interesting = Viral Spread

June 14, 2010 1 comment

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This article from Fast Company highlights the viral spread of Dorito’s ads as part of a Super Bowl contest.   They are provocative and violent and the company doesn’t have to take responsibility, yet they benefit from the marketing.  One theme of  viral spread may happen when inhibitions are eliminated.  When something seems tasteless, immoral, or even wrong but you aren’t held accountable, are you (the general “you”) more likely to share it?

In this Dorito’s example, you can’t help but ask the question how YouTube and other technologies contribute to the general lowering of inhibition (comfort with exposure) and with the capacity to spread quickly.

There are some more provocative examples embedded in the article.  Here’s one that won a contest and ended up being shown during the  Super Bowl:

This article starts out by highlighting some pretty negative examples (of which, I’m sure, there are too many on YouTube) to count.  It also highlights a really great video that went viral related to a contest by Dorito’s in Canada:

It’s not just the “good” aspect that made it go viral.  There’s some other appeal here. This particular video is produced in the style of those produced by Lee and Sachi LeFever of Common Craft (check-out their cool videos explaining all sorts of social media such as Twitter).  It’s cool, quirky, different, a little funny, and VERY easy to follow.  This “Crazy Cheezy Dream” video is humanistic, yet fun and interesting to watch.  It tells a great story, but just enough detail that we can insert ourselves into that story (too much detail makes it hard to do that) – this is when we CONNECT with it!  Steve Denning talks about this phenomenon in his research and books about storytelling.  It seems so simple, yet makes all the difference in the world!  I would make the argument that this connection element exists in the more provocative examples from a fantasy perspective – something we wish could happen.

Today’s Lesson:  When videos tell a story that we can connect with, but are funny and interesting, too, spread happens.