Continuing on the theme of my last posts, namely the value proposition of social media for government, today I will discuss the how social media improves communication and collaboration.
Social media is a powerful communication channel that enables government to communicate and collaborate more effectively externally and internally. Social media greatly reduces the transaction costs of communication and cuts through traditional organizational and communication barriers.
Social media reduces the government’s transaction costs of producing results by:
- Reducing the requirement for email
- Reducing the requirement for meetings
- Finding expertise/passion from within and outside of government to crowdsource initiatives
Social media also reduces the requirement for top-down management because social media channels are often moderated and directed by the community.
Public service renewal and transformation will only happen when we can harness the expertise and passion of public servants. Social media allows for the focusing and the collaboration of public servants and citizens without the high traditional costs of directing them in that effort.
Government must learn to be lighter and more effective. We must harness the passion of public servants to serve citizens. We must learn to break down walls and cut through traditional communication boundaries and bureaucracy.
The private sector is often held up as a model in government when considering how to better serve customers (citizens) and reduce costs. While the private sector certainly has efficiencies that government could benefit from, government has something the private sector does not have. We have public servants whose mission is to serve citizens. We are driven by making the world a better place. Given the opportunity and the means to make a difference, we do.
Social media allows for the voices of public servants and citizens to be heard. It enables passion and expertise of the many to be directed into results.