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The Change Guides Blog
My Twitter Adventure
In Your Shoes
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Summer 2010
Kate Nelson and Stacy Aaron
kate and stacy 2010
Social media... whether you love it or hate it, it is here to stay.  While some of our clients think "tweets" are for the birds, many spend a good portion of their time every week reading and sharing ideas through blogs, discussion groups, and Twitter. 

Social media has proven to be a powerful tool in managing change.  Sharing ideas, engaging people in change efforts, and gathering feedback to help refine change plans are all critical to managing change effectively.  And social media is a great tool for doing all three of those things. 
Read more about our own blog and the vast array of change resources out there about managing organizational change in the social media landscape.  If you feel inspired after reading, join in - even if just to try it out!   It's not hard, it's free, and - who knows - you might even like it!
Enjoy the newsletter and, as always, let us know what you think! E-mail Feedback.
All the best,
Kate and Stacy
The Change Guides Blog 
People have been talking about social media for a while now.  We have given in to the social media craze and joined into the wild world of highly accessible and scalable publishing.  You will find us on Twitter, blogging, and starting and contributing to LinkedIn discussions among other things.  I will admit... we drug our feet about it for a while, but the response so far has been great. 
We started our blog in May.  Check it out at www.changeguidesllc.wordpress.com or through the "join in" section of our website.  We created it to share experiences and new ideas with people quickly... and to get input from others about what is working and what is not working as they manage change. 
If you have ideas about what you'd like us to blog about, let us know!  And share your thoughts, ideas and experiences on the blog too! 
My Twitter Adventure by Stacy Aaron
I'm new to Twitter (just been on a couple months) and I'm pleasantly surprised at all the resources and opinions that are shared every day. There are hundreds of quotes, blogs, articles and web links on the topics of change, leadership, human resources and management.  Learning from others on Twitter is a bit like peeling an onion. I'll follow someone who has interesting things to say or recommends great articles or blogs. Then, I might go to their blog. Once on their blog, I see more dialogue about these topics which I read. Then, I go to their website and see their recommended reading list and on and on. I've had to sift through stuff I don't find interesting but I've also found some real gems.

There's also a lot of give and take on Twitter.  Someone I didn't know retweeted (RT) one of my tweets. Someone else,  RT'd our recent Change Guides blog post.  After I thanked them both for the RTs, one came back to me and invited me to comment on his blog, which I did. I liked his blog post a lot. It was about the  importance of having purpose and meaning at work.

I've quickly made some great connections too. A project manager in Seattle found me on Twitter and ended up interviewing me for his blog (see link to the left). On his blog, I thought he had great advice about project management .

It's hard to know where this all leads. But since this is the age of continual learning, no one can afford to just keep to the same old ideas. Assuming you can spend 15 minutes a day, sifting through what is there for the gems, it's worth the time. I've found Twitter and certain blogs offer great tidbits of advice and interesting perspective.  If you're on Twitter, look for me @SA_ChangeGuide.
In Your Shoes 
Steve Browne, Executive Director of HR
headshot steve brownLaRosa's Inc.
What advice do you have for others trying to drive change?
Make sure you clear up ambiguity. When people don't know what you're trying to do, they make stuff up. We're doing Lean and we said, "the spoons go here" not "the spoons go around this area". Be specific. If you are very clear, you can make things happen pretty rapidly.

What one thing has helped you the most in driving change in your organization?
Permission. I'm allowed to make change. There are too many organizations where people are not allowed. They make suggestions and are told, "no." Being allowed to do things, take risks, is really important.

How can social media be used to drive change?
Two things: social media has opened up avenues not accessible before. The knowledge base is so much broader. There is opinion and fact, the body of knowledge is endless. With more knowledge, the approach to change can be more educated, more thorough, based on research. Second, it opens up an awareness that other people are doing what I do. It's easy to be in a bubble and lose perspective. Social media gets you out of your bubble. I was talking to someone today from New Jersey. She's doing some HR work in NYC. I met her using Twitter. Social media is allowing my professional network to be much broader.

Is there any other advice you have about social media?
In social media, you have to be very cognizant of how you represent yourself. Personal branding is very relevant. When I put my thoughts online, there is risk but there is also exponential reward. You don't get famous using social media but you are exposed. If you choose to jump in, it can swallow you. We've never been taught how to use social media in a corporate environment so many people are lurkers, they read but they don't contribute. When you participate in social media, you are choosing to be part of a community.