Pivot Mark Burgess and Kare Anderson

During the whirlwind of activity that was last month’s Pivot Conference, I had a chance to sit down briefly and talk with Kare Anderson (@KareAnderson), who was kind enough to write a nice piece on The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013) for Forbes back in August. As always, Kare was a pleasure to speak to. It’s never easy to try to get to the essence of a whole book in the span of a couple minutes, but I thought one thing Kare said, that soon we will all be living in a simultaneously “unbounded and bounded world” in business was especially spot-on.

Such a statement might sound contradictory to some, but in reality that’s exactly what the “guardrails” concept popularized by Adobe is all about. It’s true that inevitably there have to be some limits on what a person can and cannot do as a digital brand ambassador. However, within the safety of those boundaries, a social employee should be able to explore and experiment however they think might best service the brand.

In fact, a truly activated social employee will also have a forum within the brand to share both their eventual blunders (no employee or brand is perfect) and their greatest successes. With that knowledge, social employees can then work together to help flesh out those guardrails into best practices. So while there may be limits, in the most successful social businesses, employees have a say in what those limits look like and how they affect the brand’s engagement strategies. That is the essence of success in an unbounded and bounded world.

Watch the video below for more on this and other concepts found in The Social Employee.

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