Simon Terry

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Reputation: The Horse & the Tortoise

Reputation arrives on a tortoise and leaves on a horse. – traditional maxim

When it comes to social media, many organisations focus on the second half of this maxim. They stress about the damage that might be done by their people in social networks. That becomes an excuse for the organisation to play safe and stop both it and its employees from engaging.

Employees should be your best advocates. If not, then that’s an issue you need to fix ASAP.

Employees face a major constraint in influencing reputation. Too many organisations constrain employees by giving reputation little consideration. The bigger damage is when organisations don’t listen, don’t understand their current reputation and don’t think about social accountabilities. These organisation leave employees little positive to say in any medium.

The horse has bolted

You have a reputation. It is likely accurate to the experiences you deliver and well deserved. You will have a reputation whether you engage or not. The conversation goes on without you. The network is pretty good at sharing its information about your organisation.

Don’t worry so much about shutting the stable door. Make sure you have real substance to your reputation.

Don’t forget about the tortoise

Stop for a minute and think about the first half of the maxim:

A tortoise.

Slow. Very slow. Too slow for today’s networked world of business.

How important is reputation to the strategy of your organisation? Do you know your current reputation? When are you going to start building the reputation you need? How can you use everyone on the network around your organisation to help?

If you ignore reputation in the networks around your organisation until you need it, good luck moving the tortoise.


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