Visit Us On
Distribution competence as key element of OSML requires a deep understanding of the communication dynamics of an organization. These dynamics are driven by the interplay of two fundamentally different paradigms of communication that seem at first glance incompatible, and that follow very different distribution patters: Vertical broadcast communication, which tends to be formal, linear, and explicit and horizontally networked communication, which tends to be informal, non-linear, and tacit.
The rules of broadcast communication are comparatively easy, and distribution is easy to understand – a defined sender, a defined channel, a defined receiver of messages. Content can be designed top down (or censored if deemed necessary), channel ownership allows the control of dissemination to a large extent, feedback loops are formalized, roles are clear. Formal power structures define what is said and what is heard.
Viral dissemination is messier and virtually impossible to control. It is driven by network dynamics that are hard to grasp. To understand the distribution dynamics of this domain, leaders need to know about network nodes and key influencers. They need to form relationships with these owners of social capital who do not follow the logic of hierarchy, and - if they want to be heard - they need to get their trust, their engagement and their support.
Traditional organizations favor the vertical; they have the tendency to shut off communication that does not follow “procedure” and thereby overlook or even shun informal leaders. It is easy to see how leveraging distribution dynamics in the age of social media requires new organizational operating models and triggers them at the same time – and how hard it is for large organizations to adapt to the new ballgame.
The “distribution” section of the SixSkills Global Dialogue is dedicated to exploring how to best deal with the dynamics unleashed through the clash of two distribution logics. We would like to hear about your experiences as a "distributor" and your opinion about the importance of this skill, no matter if you are a veteran or are just starting to toy with the idea of engaging in social media.
From a more conceptual perspective, we would like to explore question such as:
Leveraging dissemination dynamics is probably the most challenging personal dimension of OSML – we look forward to an inspiring dialogue!
Leaders need a deep understanding of the nature of the various social media tools, and the dynamics they unleash, as participatory dissemination can be viral and is naturally hard to control.
Mastering the combination of the logic of broadcast and participatory media will be critical.