My friend Dave Evans has insightful advice - in his ClickZ column- for organizations who want to embrace social business. Specially those who think getting ideas from consumers is a new way to do business.
Before you jump in, though, have a plan. Ideation - asking customers, for example, to submit ideas and to collectively vote those submissions up or down so you can pick off and implement the winners - is not for every organization, nor is it a universal fix for every ailment. Consider this: If your customers were to offer their ideas, would your organization accept them or defend itself against them? Does your organizational culture embrace and value change, or does a senior manager still get a desk that, by fiat, is made of oak instead of metal and exactly two inches wider than those occupied by subordinates? Social media has brought many organizations face-to-face with their own inability to respond to change, to embrace customers as collaborative partners, and to take seriously the necessity for creating cross-functional teams charged with producing defined business outcomes rather than tracking (in a vacuum) some arbitrary set of departmental measures. Follow my friend and colleague Gautam Ghosh, or look at the work being done in forward-looking organizations like Philips and PGi for really smart implementations of social technology that enables organizational transformation and response to opportunity and change. (Disclosure: Both Philips and PGi are clients.)
Read more at www.clickz.com
The above may sound harsh - and to be sure, real and sustained transformation in organizations that lack a company-wide, shared, and well-defined culture is difficult - but it's also the "new reality" of the combined impact of the global popularity of the social Web and the global adoption of consumerist sensibilities being driven by the global effects of current economic conditions. External to your business, markets are no longer isolated: internally, work teams are no longer isolated either. There is a growing recognition that we're all connected - and that, through the open exchange of information as it occurs on the Web, outside the confines of the Facebooks and similar walled gardens, we can increasingly seek the value we desire and then vote with our dollars for the businesses and organizations that deliver that value.