You can’t just dabble

briandunnBest Buy is a company I’ve been paying attention to ever since I heard CEO Brian Dunn speak about leadership and communication at the IABC international conference in 2009.

Dunn was the recipient of the IABC EXCEL Award for 2009. The award recognizes leaders who foster excellence in communication and contribute to the development and support of organizational communication.

Dunn is now ex-CEO of Best Buy as he resigned earlier this week amid some controversy surrounding allegations of personal misconduct, according to mainstream media reports such as this one in the Telegraph today citing a Wall Street Journal report yesterday.

I’m saddened to learn of these allegations as I felt inspired by Brian Dunn from listening to him speak in 2009. Whatever the outcome of these travails – and I wish him well – I believe his thinking on social media (in particular) is very much worth keeping in mind as a best-practice example of a corporate leader with insight.

Consider these words I’ve taken from an interview with Dunn by the Harvard Business Review in December 2010 which I often use as a best-practice example in presentations and other situations for assessing the pros and cons of social media in business (text below the slide):

youcantjustdabble

You can’t just dabble in social media. You can’t use them only when things are good. You have to deal with rain as well as sunshine. And I’m convinced that the upside outweighs the downside.

If a company, or even its chief executive, doesn’t have a presence on social networks today, that company risks not being in the conversation at all. Over time, I believe, that can be fatal to a business.

Valid words.

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About Neville Hobson

Entrepreneurial business communicator with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Co-host of the weekly business podcast For Immediate Release: The Hobson and Holtz Report. Also an occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Follow me on Twitter and Google+.