Digital leadership best practice principles

“Social Media has a soul. It lives and breathes as we do. It grows and evolves as we do. We should take good care of the legacy we leave behind.”  – Maria Lehtman

2008 Copyright Maria Lehtman

Seeing the forest for the trees

As a visual person with a preference for symmetry in everything else except my home office desk, I have experienced significant culture shocks getting used to the wide range of social media tools.

Not to say the least, in trying to decipher the motivation behind each tool and its audience. I am using the word audience quite loosely given that ‘audience’ is plural and includes a multitude of individual preferences.

While writing this, I am aware of all the rules of ‘writing a popular blog’ according to the best practice and ignoring some of them with clear conscience. Why? Because after being submerged in social media topics both for my work and in free time, I realized that the rules of engagement had started to stifle my well of creativity.

Is there a limit to #bestpractice or #goodpractice approach?

Yes, apparently there is. Your inner critic. The one sitting on your shoulder and telling you: “It’s not good enough….”,  “It’s not the best way…”, “This is far from perfect…” etc.

Complex programs need a good practice (given that ITIL is not a fan of the ‘best practice’ term any longer). However, when we come face to face with something we have never experienced before, the good practice guideline only takes you so far.

And how far is ‘so far’? It is the extent of your current experience. Had I relied only on best practice guidelines that were already out there – I would have failed many critical programs to begin with. Why?

#1 There is never enough time.

Quantum theory gives an unlimited possibility of existence that unfortunately does not extend to our current business reality. If you stop the flow to discover everything someone else has already done – you will be late all the way through.

The workaround for beating time is to prepare. Prepare for the things you anticipate could happen and do not have enough time to discover. Never ignore the feeling that something might come back to bite you later on. Learn to observe with intuition.

#2 Focusing on what ‘should be’ can stop you from seeing ‘what is’.

I have seen many programs go through the ‘merry-go-round’ at the start of the project when people and things are still trying to find their place. I have also witnessed projects that never got passed that stage (luckily less so). Being able to focus on what you have vs. what you would like to have is one of the key aspects of getting programs to fly.

Focusing on what you have at the moment, allows you to make the best decision possible at any given time.

#3 There is never enough resources.

This is one of the fundamental principles of running on-budget programs. We are rarely in the luxury position to run a program with unlimited resources. And should we be so lucky, I guarantee you there would still be a lack of resources. It could be about finding the right talent, the right timing, the exact formula, the right clientele… possibilities are endless.

The workaround for resources: collaboration and teaming

Teams allow you to see and act in 360 degrees. Listen and trust that your team knows what they are talking about. You still need to make the decision when to speed up, cut corners, slow down or even call a halt but they will support you all the way through if you take their opinions into account. Enable everyone in the program to collaborate. That way you can counter challenges in all of the previously mentioned categories.

Social media is not a complex program but a collective of complex ecosystems.

The fast evolution of digitalization and popular trends create a continuous ‘uncharted territory’. This blog post is the result of principle challenge #1 while wanting to say ‘thank you’ and open the floor to hear your feedback.

If you read this blog this far, please do not stop quite yet :)!

I would love to write about topics you are interested in! So please drop me a comment or a tweet. Please remember to click ‘Following the Digital Teacup’ before you leave :).

Thank you again! Wishing you a lovely week!

Best Regards,

Maria Lehtman

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11 thoughts on “Digital leadership best practice principles

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    • The Digital Teacup says:

      Thank you, Leif! Some articles take a little longer to build up, but I like to spend time on the leadership posts. So many good things to learn about leadership principles and values. Thanks for taking the time to comment – hope you come by again!


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