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The Facebook Generation

by Randall Craig on May 4, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Business Development, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management, Social Media

Tagged as: , , ,

Chances are you are working (or have worked) in an organization that gave you a PC that was completely locked down. You were not allowed to add your own software, let alone customize the software that was pre-installed. If you did want to go to the web, you could do it on a company installed browser, but only to company approved sites. And of course, while you did this, your every word would be scrutinized by sniffer programs designed to verify that you were being “productive.”  Sound familiar?

This repressive state of affairs is highlighted further by the growing consumerist attitude of most employees. There is a growing gap between a public that shares, collaborates, consumes and engages away from the office, but has none of these “freedoms” when it comes to working with colleagues (or clients) during the day.

As a result, organizations are discovering that their staff simply avoid the repression by using their own technology during the day: they surf on their iPhones, and even use the personal Hotspot feature to gain direct access to the web from their computers.  Corporate Security Specialists see this as a massive risk, and will often respond with more rules, enforcement, and penalties.  Unfortunately, the Facebook Generation knows how to use technology, and doesn’t suffer fools… or what they see as foolish policies. Instead, what is needed is common sense, guidelines, and accountability. And underlying this is good ol’ “management”.

This week’s action plan: Does your organization lock everything down or does it hold people (and their managers) accountable? This week, spend a few minutes considering whether your constraints impact your responsibilities; if so, then advocate for a change – but be prepared to be accountable.

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Randall Craig

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Randall has been advising on Web and Social Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of seven books, including the recently released "Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business", and speaks across North America on Social Media and Web Strategy. More at and

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