Time to make “social” the lifeblood of your organisation

I would like to draw your attention to two recent posts from Brian Solis, referencing a study by Jeremiah Owyang and the Altimeter group and identifying the Future of Business in a Social World.

In Part 1, Solis argues that although many of the sampled businesses from the Altimeter Study appear to have been using Social Media for several years it is in a peripheral sense. Implementation is detached from the core business (and core vision and objectives) and this “experimentation” is isolated to one or two departments. In fact, it is mainly within Marketing and Communications that most Social Media and Web2.0 initiatives have taken place.

In Part 2, Solis underlines the limited effect this transitory approach to Social Media is having on the core business – SM should be changing the way business organises and operates but it is not (at least not for now). Solis goes on to identify a model for the Future Business.

The model Solis illustrates captures well our own views in this area. It was a simplified hub and spoke model that we chose for both the logos of Energise2-0 and Tourism2-0 following some very interesting discussions on the impact of Social Media on the Organisation.

Our choice of logo reflects our belief that the power has shifted firmly to the customer and the network and the speed and accuracy of response now needed in this new age make hierachical structures redundant and force an aligned, decentralised model – a hub and spoke or dandelion structure so to speak.

The gap between “traditional” models and the new “social” model becomes clear part way through a customer support experience with most any business running social and non-social media support channels. The “social” aspect of the service is often more responsive but the overall experience can feel disjointed – the whole business struggles to deliver.

It is this vision of the Future Business that resonates so deeply with the work we are doing. The Future Business integrates Social Media at the very heart of the organisation not on the periphery – “social” becomes the lifeblood. The core business not only understands the value of Social Media but provides the platform for very many decentralized but aligned initiatives. Initiatives that will touch every aspect of the organisation, including: HR, New Product Development, Customer Support, Finance, Fulfillment, Production –  not solely Marketing and Communications. In other words, much wider and deeper than current Social Media implementations. It will not be easy for organisations to pull this off, there can be no “wizard behind the curtain” here, the organisation of the Future has to have “social” pumping through its veins.

Getting there involves a fundamental change in mindset (and collectively a change in culture) but also a framework which helps align and support a more mature approach to Social Media and Web2.0. We have been arguing and demonstrating for several years now that a Simplified Balanced Scorecard is just such a framework. There may be others.

I’m heartened that the work of Solis and Owyang and others is making us now question the current siloed approach to Social Media and question how much progress has been made and what work still needs to be done.

What is clear from these recent posts is that every business needs to grow up in their use of Social Media and Web2-0. This is not time for self congratulation, this is time to make “social” the lifeblood of your organization.

As always comments are most welcome.

Alan and Jim

Rethinking the Future of Business Part 1 and Part 2, Solis, B


About Alan Stevenson

Over the last fifteen years I have split my time almost equally between Developing Digital strategies for public and private sector clients and helping organisations visualise, specify, plan and optimise technology-based solutions within their organisation.
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4 Responses to Time to make “social” the lifeblood of your organisation

  1. Thanks for this very interesting post Alan.

    As we are constantly stating – ‘Social Media is not a thing. It is a state-of-mind’ and this has major implications for organisational structure, control and decision-making structures within organisations. Without an open organisational culture, social media becomes just another sales channel. Unfortunately, too many companies are stuck in a time warp.

    Take care

    Jim H

  2. Dear Dr.Hamill I am redirecting my business to social media like you suggested and I am already having a good response changing the way I use to market the business, it is not so easy but when you start doing it and you start to get good response, then you will change your mind and give 100 out of 100 as the business will become once again profitable. Thanks to you that now my business is on the right track again because now with social media I am competing with all my competitores. I am very glad that you are sending me articles on social media as I am learning more about the subject.

    Thanks for everything you are doing to make me learn more about social media.

    • Hi Anthony

      Thank you for your very kind words – much appreciated. Glad that i could be of some help and always great to see companies begin to enage with social media.

      Would be good to know more about what you are doing re social media and how it has helped your business.

      I should be back out in Malta at the end of March. Would be good to catch up.

      Best wishes and take care.

      Jim H

      • Dear Dr. Hamill,
        I will be very glad to talk to you about my work as I told you I hve already started shifting the marketing to other marketing tools until you are in Malta I would have finished doing it.

        Thanks for your continious attention that you give me i am always greatful to your advise.

        Anthony Mario Vella

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