Posted by: kentropic | June 18, 2009

Social media networking = kina’ole?

Ms. Kris and Nohea checked out my initial posts this week and raised a good point: kina’ole isn’t a concept/feeling that usually works well in a business context. I agree — if it’s just bolted on for marketing purposes: “Shop/stay/eat here! Enjoy our kina’ole customer service!” Uh…, actually, no.

However, there’s no reason we can’t adopt kina’ole as a guiding principle for daily work life — especially in HR. Most of us spend so much time at work, and the quality of that time can be so heavily influenced by what the HR types do, that there’s tremendous potential to add value by adopting this ancient Hawai’ian philosophy of craftsmanship and professionalism.

Can business benefits flow from taking this step? Absolutely. But it’s not likely to happen if increasing your profits is your primary motive. It’s counterintuitive but true, and the the mainstreaming of social media demonstrates some basic kina’ole principles in action.

Take a browse through the posts of any social media expert you like. Go ahead and have a look around: there are dozens of them, each with a distinctive speciality or point of view, all with something valuable to contribute to the ongoing conversation about this rapidly-evolving space.

One thing they all agree upon — without exception — is the fundamental importance of giving away valuable insights and information, without any expectation of receiving something in return.

This fundamantal generosity is the sine qua non of building online credibility: when people try out your insights and find them sound, they’ll refer others your way, thereby stoking a symbiotic feedback loop that benefits everyone involved. Relationships come first; the business will take care of itself afterwards. And that’s what we find at the heart of kina’ole.

Now, imagine how that philosophy could transform the world of HR practice: recruiting, learning and development, employee relations, compensation and benefits admin.


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