(Note this is slightly modified post that was originally posted last fall)
Last fall I presented Social Media in the Workplace at the Atlantic Schools of Business Conference in PEI. As I have reflected on the experience, I can say without a doubt that it was interesting to present to this group. On the one hand you had Professors who are teaching our future leaders. On the other hand you have institutions that are looking for new and innovative ways to provide the service/education that is needed not for today, but for five to ten years from now!
The conversations around social media were absolutely intriguing and down right fascinating to me. There were some who really embraced the use of social media and how it can not only set their schools apart, but also how it will set the students apart when they are looking for their entrance into the working world.
For others, it was very much like what we would hear in the business environment. Essentially it comes down to fear - fear of the unknown, fear of the loss of control - fear. Just plain and simple fear.
Fear is not easy to eliminate or to undo. It takes time. It takes information and it takes guts.
Whether you look at the studies by BlessingWhite or even Edleman's Trust Barometer, there are some common themes there. This doesn't take away from the fear that people feel. Rather it is no doubt the opposite. It reaffirms what most people feel. It justifies that others have the same fear. Embracing social media is not as difficult as some might think. It can be done, but it takes a champion.
(Looking for more information on trust? Feel free to check out my posts from both the employer and employee perspective bit.ly/QqG8gP)