More AboutSocial Media Influence
What we measure in the online influencer lists is pretty simple. We’re trying to figure out whose work is most likely to turn up when you search for specific topics in the niche. The measures help answer the question ‘who should you talk to about x?”
This is extraordinary influence in a very specific way. When new people come to find out about the area, these are the faces they’ll encounter. Popularity and quality (two things which seem to bear little relationship to each other) are not what we measure. You can’t, really.
Along the way to figuring this out, we’re hoping to understand how ideas spread. That would be another level of influence and we don’t have that one yet. Again, the spreading of ideas might be split into the popular and quality piles. Again, they are likely to bear little relationship to each other.
What we’re not doing is measuring some comprehensive attribute of a person. Rather, the lists adress the question ‘who is influential to new folks on the topic of x?”.
There are other equally important aspects of influence that should be a part of the toolset of any HR professional.
- Herding cats: HR folks are staff people. They do not have authority. That means that there are very few things they can tell people to do. Influence is the way you encourage people who don’t report to you to do the things you need them to.
- Staff Development: There are few place in the HR mishmash that have greater long term effect on the organization. Every bit of attention paid in training and mentoring employees pays a huge benefit for the firm in loyalty, improved decision making and effective work habits. Influence is what happens when you change the organization by improving the people who work there.
- Hiring: Setting a high bar for quality and fit makes sure that the culture is always upleveling. HR is uniquely suited to drive this leverage across the entire organizarition.
- Firing: Jettisoning people who aren’t suited to the company can be a drawn out and expensive process or a straightforward execution. When HR cultivates a culture of expectation clarity and rapid decision making in this area, the team always gets better.
- Ooops and Aw S#1&: The current issue of Vanity Fair talks about how Microsoft destroyed its culture through the use of stack ranking. Influence is not always positive (just ask your mother). It’s possible for HR to be involved inand responsible for catastrophes.
- Outside Help: HR can be the gateway through which external influence and commentary flows through the organization. It can be the source of clear critique. The HR folks at Microsoft who championed stack ranking were pretty influential. Imagine the influence of the guy who stopped it in time to save the company.
Influence is far more than a few words and links in social media. But, if you are not figuring out how to harness this new form, the others will be decresaingly likely to work for you.