Over the last few weeks I’ve been looking for other educational manager’s blogs from across the globe. The result of my search has been to find a quite disproportionate imbalance towards bloggers who are not in significant management positions.
The result of this phenomenon seems to be growing clamour from educational bloggers to have their managers actively engage in social media as participants, as opposed to being distant “controllers” of a world with which they are not necessarily engaged.
Such a perception only serves to reinforce the notion amongst some that blogging is essentially a subversive activity, which in turn reinforces the traditional “them” and “us” mentality in education.
I have a number of manager friends (not necessarily in education) who describe how their workplace cultures would not support the productive use of social media . Their concerns centre around five issues:
- I don’t have time to do something so frivolous;
- Everything I do is confidential and so what could I write about?;
- People are not encouraged to express a personal opinion about the company;
- If I let people disagree with me in a public forum it would weaken my position and make my job impossible;
- How do I control the risk of people possibly damaging the company reputation from within – particularly if it damages our share price?
From personal experience I would like to reassure people that blogging, from my perspective, is perhaps one of the most important things a manager could to do have positive impact upon their organisation. The problem with most organisations is that managers are seen to be remote from their colleagues – and even if they’re close the SNAFU principle often means they don’t hear the truth.
I’m not suggesting that blogging necessarily means that anyone will become a better manager or leader by blogging – but the I would argue the likelihood is greatly enhanced. I know that keeping a blog and the receipt of comments has had a significant impact upon how I behave and the policies and processes we have put in place in East Lothian over the last 18 months.