Evolving Job Responsibilities

originally posted on Concept Hub

I am working on an organizational chart for the near-term growth of this company. “My mission” of which I chose to accept, is to put together a chart of not just job titles or responsibilities but also how each person in the role will perform their duties as well as succession plans.

This led me to think about one of the most asked questions I hear when I am initially “pitching” social media to a potential client, “how many people do we need to hire for this?”

My standard answer at this time is no more than what is currently on staff. The key to participating in this evolving world of online communities is not about having “social media experts” on staff or on call – it is about having your current team adapt to the changes occurring in the way we communicate.

About a year ago I was saying something a little different. I was looking at Web 2.0 as a reinvention of the web. I had the discussion with a teammate at the time that Web 2.0 would evolve in the same way the web did. When organizations initially realized they needed a web presence they hired someone to throw up a page. Then they realized they wanted to make changes to the site or use it for more enhanced communication efforts, so they hired a webmaster. The web became so cluttered with banner ads and email marketing and SEO and security issues that organizations now have entire teams in-house as well as hired agencies. We thought we were seeing the same kind of reinvention in communications with Web 2.0.

I no longer believe that is the case. Unlike the initial mass adoption of online communications, this is not a reinvention of the web but more of an evolution of the web. So your PR team is still your PR team, but they learn how to interact with the public both directly and indirectly. Marketing teams learn how to tap into the what is important to their audience and directly impact the messages that are being spread in a peer to peer network, customer service is handled less on the phone or via email and more within online communities.

The biggest change I am seeing in this evolving way of communicating is the speed that knowledge and ideas get transferred which has a direct influence on opinions and purchasing decisions. Each person within an organization has to be trained and prepared to adapt to the new speed of information. I would suggest starting ….um now.

However, perhaps the one new job title that an organization would need to add to their team is that of a demolition specialist. Someone who can tear down the walls that have traditionally separated departments internally as well as separated companies from their buyers. Departments need to have direct access to each other and just in time knowledge of what is going on in their world to ensure that each person is on the “same page” when communicating in the open and transparent world of the Internet. This change must occur to enable organizations to adapt and respond to the market at the same accelerating speed in which the market is moving.