THE BLOG
12/30/2014 07:43 pm ET Updated Apr 01, 2015

Reason #30 Why We Can't Change: We Don't Have the Time

Susan Scrupski

In the year of my birth (1959), the above list was carefully compiled by a Product Engineer of the Milwaukee Gear Company. In 2014, Change Agents in our network are still working hard to Change the World of Work.

The potential for powerful change is already here for the enterprise, but what's holding it back are the same things the frustrated product engineer listed here. These objections still live on today in memos, meetings, analysis decks, and teleconference calls over a half-century later.

Let's take #30. "We don't have the time." This one always bugs me. You're busy; we know. We're busy too. But, it really takes no time at all to participate on the social web and to communicate internally via a social channel.

Let me narrate this story via my friend and Partner, Jim Worth. Jim is CIO of a large U.S. industrial manufacturer. A longtime member of The Society for Information Management (SIM), he volunteered last spring to do a presentation for his industry peers at the local NJ SIM Chapter meeting.

Jim took the attendees through his decades-old IT leadership career from his 15 years at Philips Electronics, then Merck where he was introduced to social technologies, and Labcorp where he was most recently. Jim's a progressive guy who loves technology and loves the freedom and mobility of social tools and new gadgets.

He was one of my first recruits to our team for this reason. But, heck. THE GUY IS BUSY. I can't even begin to tell you what he has on his plate, plus he is an active cyclist, has a wonderful family, and maintains two lovely homes. Jim's presentation opened many eyes at the SIM meeting. His colleagues were blown away by what he was showing them. This was the first time they were exposed to his other persona as a "Social CIO." This issue of time came up after the usual issues of privacy and security. He explains:

The questions then turned to, 'How do you have time to do this?,' 'How can you keep up with it all?' I said it does not take much time to be social. Using a smartphone you can keep up and keep the conversation going all day. Regarding keeping up, I said that I don't. It is like a waterfall of information and I catch a little in a cup, but that is better than missing out all together. I said I would rather be tapped into this information flow and take some from it, instead of not being present to take part.

Through his example, Jim demonstrated that someone who had a job just like they did, who was roughly the same demographic profile as they are, had the same and more experience has they have, was able to demonstrate mastery of social tools and a profound understanding of the tenets of social working. So, you do have the time. You just need to know how to work and play out loud with online networking. It's good for your career, your life, and your peace of mind. Try it.

cross-posted from the Change Agents Worldwide blog.