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From Chaos to Order: An Executive’s Approach to Becoming an Online Trusted Adviser

/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/socmed1_138559.jpgNowadays, employees, customers, influencers, executives — everyone, really — enjoys many options for accessing, consuming, and sharing information. Texting and e-mail are ubiquitous forms of instant communication, and even traditional channels — such as newspapers, magazines, and other periodicals — are available easily and immediately through desktop and handheld devices. Social media adds even more choices to the multimedia mix, with YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, online communities, blogs, and podcasts battling for eyes and ears.

In our world of information overload, the challenge that we face is finding a way to establish ourselves as trusted advisers in a wilderness of digital data.

In my experience, you must practice to learn how to organize yourself online, so that you can absorb as much of the best information possible. At the same time, you must build yourself up as an expert in your respective field. Succeed, and people will seek you out for your advice. Fail, and you get lost in the noise.

You must re-evaulate your communication pattern, accepting the fundamental change in how we interact in a constantly connected world. You can soak up information more quickly, filter it, and share your insights in ways never possible before.

Social media is changing the enterprise decision making process.With a tablet (such as iPad), I can scan and take in news quickly, take advantage of RSS feeds to stay up to date with relevant blogs, and even use mobile apps to aggregate, orchestrate, and assimilate facts fast. Through this integration of multiple sources, I can choose what information to share with the world (inside and outside of SAP), comment on what I’ve read, offer opinions, and drive discussion. I don’t simply repeat; I evaluate and add my expert commentary.

As an executive, you can only learn by investing the time necessary to read, retain, and react to the wealth of online information. To see how I do it, please follow me on Twitter at @sapcio .

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