Jamie posted tonight about “the myth of control” and how it contributes to the fundamental fear that still paralyzes many associations when dealing with the issue of social media/social networking. During last week’s ASAE & The Center Technology Conference, both Jamie and I heard comments about Web 2.0 tools that reveal the full extent of this fear, including some observations so troubling and so misguided that all I could do in response was shake my head in disbelief.
It’s somewhat comforting to know, however, that our community isn’t alone in not comprehending social media/networking. Blogger friend Shel Holtz also has a post up tonight presenting his “five reasons why companies resist social media.” I’ve posted the five reasons below (visit Shel’s blog to read the full post), because I have heard a version of each of these “excuses” offered up in the association community as well.
#1 – IT won’t let us
#2 – It will be abused
#3 – Management fears loss of control
#4 – Legal and regulatory risks
#5 – We don’t have the time or resources
To the association list, I would add both the intransigence and myopia of volunteer boards, along with their fear of losing control. But regardless of the reasons we’ve used to justify maintaining the status quo, it’s time for association leaders to stop being afraid of technologies that are unleashing the creative spirit and powering an extraordinary wave of innovation around the world. It’s time to stop worrying about losing control, which as Jamie points out, we never had in the first place. Now is the time for us to embrace these powerful tools and, more importantly, the inventive strategies and business models they make possible that can help us create new value for our members, capture value for our organizations and advance our purposes in the 21st century.