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Building A More Open Culture At BBBS Through Social Media

Surprising results from my recent post on social media strategy and technology at Big Brothers, Big Sisters of MA Bay, the post sparked collaboration among several different regional chapters, and is helping to enhance the culture of openness within the organization.

In chatting with Tim Smith about my initial post regarding the BBBS of MA Bay wanting the community to help answer some questions about social media strategy and technology, Tim gave me the following update:

Tim is working on putting together the list of resources and ideas generated by my blog post and also LinkedIn question. He is working on a follow up plan for everyone; determining if he needs to follow up with individuals and companies to schedule follow ups where necessary. One issue for BBBS of MA Bay is that during these economic times they really need help with pro bono work, so that's one question Tim will be asking folks how they can help BBBS.

My original post has also sparked a conversation among several regional BBBS chapters.  BBBS MA Bay and BBBS SEPA are building on these initial conversations and have formed a loose confederation on the topic of social media strategy and technology.   Each regional organization is at a different place, thinking about strategy, building a committee or even experimenting with social media.

Those chapters involved have set a goal to develop a methodology that permits other affiliate, non-affiliate community and youth serving organizations to view the progress of their work, learn from and eventually become part of the discussion.    The chapters are also developing working groups to make the best use of talent and expertise across the loose federation.  More on the study groups as they develop.  Tim will be influencing core technology, media production, community development and experience engineering themes.

Tim then told me that because of the external postings, there have been a lot of internal BBBS agency conversations.  His agency is new to the ethos of social media's open and collaborative problem solving and resourcing approach.  Some wonder about the best boundaries for community efforts like this.  My post was an exercise in letting outsiders see inside of BBBS MA Bay's social media work. Interestingly, the post encouraged other people to announce themselves who had been working on social media issues within his and other agencies. The post has helped to accelerate the process of transparency, the direction of the projects, pacing and helped start greater partnerships across agencies and within.

For the BBBS of MA Bay the process is helping to further open communication between departments. Social media cuts across the organization, and the open discussion externally affects those internal departments encouraging them to be more open about sharing information, collaborating, and learning from each other.   Tim and others at the agency are excited that the social media work enables them to expand relationship and community development practices for both the organizational and mentoring missions of the chapter.