Three words provided me with a wealth of painful, yet productive, progress towards the defining of a policy for sharing information on internal social networks. The three words were “This is fun!” Harmless and innocent phrase at first glance but when attributed to a leader about a certain situation I uncovered a treasure chest full of cultural and social norms that go unspoken within the organization.
I was alerted to the fact that this sharing, of what I intended to be the personality of our leader, was out of context and inappropriate. I immediately realized that this feedback did more in my eyes to legitimize the online community conversation to know that people cared what was going on there. The ability of anyone at any level to influence and steer conversation in many ways is probably a new organizational paradigm that all are not comfortable with.
The correction was gentle and caring. But it also stung. It was acknowledged that seemingly contradicting expectations were shared.