In our “Charting the social universe” study, we observed that while most organizations recognize the potential of social technologies, many don’t know where to start or how to advance their goals. In fact, only 20 percent believe their organization is currently acting truly social.
To learn more about how some enterprises and industries are becoming more inherently social, Steve Rogers, Director of the IBM Center for Applied Insights, spoke with Andrew Grill, Global Partner at IBM Interactive Experience and former CEO of Kred, a social influence platform.
Listen to the full podcast here:
Highlights from our conversation with Andrew
Social business permeates the entire organization
Too often, organizations assume that social media and social business are equivalent, which isn’t the case. True social business extends far past the marketing department, across all aspects of the organization and ultimately ties into the company strategy and objectives. “I will ask [clients] ‘Do you want to build, educate and protect your workforce? You want to understand and engage your customers more?’ And then when you actually expose that this is done through social business and explain the difference between social media and social business it becomes a real light bulb moment.”
I want to get social out of the Marketing department, and I want to federate it through every single part of the organization. I want Accounting to be worrying about the social insights that are available. I want Logistics. I want Finance. I want HR to benefit from the amazing, rich resources that social can bring them.
Social as a cultural catalyst
Social technology brings a more meritocratic ideal to companies, since employee-to-employee communication should be a one-step process no matter how much lateral or vertical distance lies between. In this way, social drives cultural change by breaking down boundaries, enabling better sharing and allowing for quicker problem solving.
The main thing that drives the social business and drives the success of the social business is how you can actually impact a change in culture. You have got people sharing information across boundaries. And you have got senior management able to view very easily what is going on, to spot problems and communicate directly with their staff on the shop floor, which I think is a very radical approach.
(Social) sharing is caring
The value of social business is derived from being able to crowd-source shared knowledge, opinions and feedback simultaneously from many people and sources. It allows employees to easily share best practices with each other and provide feedback across the company. However, it also allows customers to have a better experience since they can access the organization from various touchpoints.
In the future, your value to an organization won’t be what you know; it will be what you share. Just knowing something and keeping it to yourself is so the old way. Once you unlock that and share that with the rest of the organization not only do your own employees benefit but your customers have a better experience. My customers can access 420,000 employees through me because I have access to all of them in collaborative ways. So that massively changes the balance of power.
The future of social lies in collaboration
Social business enables collaboration not only within organizations, but also between businesses. It can also take collaboration between companies and consumers to the next level – Andrew described it this way: Instead of “customers tweeting to a company saying, ‘I like your product; I don’t like your product.’ The company will say, ‘We want you on our design panel’.”
I think the company of the future will become more real-time because you have got these insights from external through social media, internal through social collaboration. It’s actually going to help make better companies, and make happier employees, and find the best candidates to join your organization.
To learn more about social business, collaboration and cultural change, listen to the full discussion. For more information about how leading companies are becoming truly social, read the IBM Social Insights study.
“Talking Insights” is a podcast series aimed at exploring business and technology topics through candid conversations with industry experts. Tune in to learn about everything from social business to startup partnerships from the people who are actually doing it.