Here is the sunset I saw on my vacation.  Stop what you are doing!


The same is true in Social!  If your company is using social without a social governance policy — stop whatever you are doing and create one!

The Social Business guidelines for your company should be based on your values. Consider following best practices from my book Get Bold. 

            1.         Guidelines should be written by your employees in a social group setting. Those guidelines developed in a participatory fashion will last.

            2.         Guidelines should state why the guidelines exist; for example, to innovate in a responsible way.

            3.         Guidelines should be short and to the point.

            4.         Guidelines should state your position on open dialogue what’s fair game and what’s not (confidential information).

            5.         Guidelines should state consequences.

            6.         Guidelines should encourage transparency.

            7.         Guidelines should state privacy and rights of your company’s partners and clients.

            8.         Guidelines should guide in adding value and learning from mistakes.

            9.         Guidelines should discuss time spent in social media.

            10.       Guidelines should encourage your company’s goals in social techniques.

On you can find a collection of company social guidelines. Read through them and define your guidelines in sync with your culture and goals. For example, in sync with its corporate culture, Zappos’s Social Media Policy is “be real and use your best judgment.” This Social Policy showcases Zappos’s trust in their employees! Intel’s Social Media Guidelines have a few best practices as well. Examples include “be transparent” and “if it gives you pause, pause.” I also love their advice that “perception is reality and it’s a conversation.” I think the key is defining these with a collaborative group of digital citizens throughout your company.

For large global organizations, corporate culture sometimes needs to make way for local culture. For example, at IBM we have a very open-minded culture supported by our senior leadership team. We have sponsorship from the very top of IBM supporting our movement into end-user-generated content to become a Social Business. However, we do understand that there are also cultural differences across the globe. As such, we make sure to understand these cultural differences and embrace them.  With IBM operating in more than 170 countries, our team reviews privacy acts around the globe to ensure that we keep the interest of the employees at the center of focus.

Now, find a sunset and ensure your company has a policy!