If you look beyond how social media is used externally, the opportunities and capabilities these principles present can literally transform from within how large corporations do business. Social Business in the enterprise develops value from within for the business. A recent blog post ‘The Elements of a Social Business‘ highlights the key traits observed of versatile and innovative enterprises. That blog post reminded me of an experience working with a large enterprise client and getting leadership buy-in to achieve many of these elements for a social business program, but not under the banner of Social Business. Maybe call it ‘right place at the right time’, but like a NASCAR driver, I led my effort closely aligned with existing transformation initiatives to reduce institutional resistance.
In NASCAR, it’s called ‘drafting’, a driving maneuver used by two cars that drive very close to one another in order to eliminate friction of the head wind to Car 2, and the friction of drag to the tail of Car 1. This technique allows both cars to be more aerodynamic and race at a higher speed. In an enterprise, both the head wind and drag can be substituted by a number of examples that would stand as barriers to changing the culture of a business, especially going about it alone. I thankfully found myself in a situation that I could seek out ‘another car’ to help ‘draft’ with me and accelerate both our goals.
As the digital communications lead, the more social the organization, the more effective our client’s communications would be internally and externally. In addition, as a communicator, you can’t have a group stay on message if they are in their own silos and can’t talk to one another. A more social organization would present a greater form of engagement for our organizational leadership and their stakeholders. I sought out my drafting partner in the form of the organization’s IT transformation effort. To seek your own drafting partner, set yourself in a position to obtain valuable insight into the core businesses of the enterprise and identify the prevailing winds of where resources are headed.
As our client’s organization was moving to cost-saving cloud and SaaS solutions and desktop applications were becoming the new legacy systems, here was the time to get behind these efforts and inject social business into the enterprise. In speaking to leadership about social business principles in a form that supports your drafting partners goals, you may experience less resistance along your path. In the example of IT transformation, here is how we can apply social business elements to the existing on-going efforts.
Social Business itself is still evolving as the dialogue among analysts and practitioners becomes richer and social technologies are more widely accepted, so there is not yet a blueprint for ushering in the Social Business culture. Without a blueprint however, there are still ways to effectively build a social process into many aspects of a business and at least sow the seeds of culture change. Have you tried ‘drafting’ with other departments or business units? What other examples or techniques have you tried to make an organization more social?
This entry was posted on Monday, June 13th, 2011 at 4:21 pm and is filed under Social Business, Social Media and tagged with Business, Business process, Social business, Social Media, Software as a service. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.