Corporate Social Networking

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James Strock

The current president of the United States holds his office in no small measure because of his social networking mastery of his 2008 electoral campaign. It enabled his organization to overcome what appeared to be, in traditional terms, insuperable advantages for his foremost intra-party opponent.

Authoritarian governments—from China to Iran—quake because of a social networking sites, such as the incongruously named Twitter. Suddenly, the worst fear of unstable regimes—outside interference to the aid of their own oppressed citizens—is becoming a reality far, far beyond their control.

In corporate America social networking is having many impacts. It breaks through internal silos—both organizational and ingrained in minds by custom and expectation. It enables customers to share information among themselves, on their own terms. It gives communities new tools. It affords regulatory agencies new sources of information. It enables advocacy groups to organize worldwide to deal with what used to be regarded as local matters.

How is your company approaching social networking as it relates to issues in the energy-environment-sustainability rubric? Are you able to create new value consistent with your company’s business plan? Are you concerned about additional liabilities of various types? Are you creating deeper relationships with key stakeholders? How will you evaluate your company’s—and your own—social networking? How will it affect your own value proposition over time, as well as that of your company?

About James Strock

James Strock is an author, speaker and executive educator who works in the nexus between sustainability and leadership. In addition to these endeavors, he also served as the founding secretary for environmental protection for the state of California, and the chief law enforcement officer of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. His third book, Serve to Lead®, was released in 2009.

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