Sep 14, 2011

The Not-So-Secret Sauce for Social Business - People

Social Business is now cutting through most functional silos in a company. It might have started with Marketing and Communication, but is slowly being embedded and therefore reshaping business processes from CRM to Supply Chain, to BPM to HR.

Companies can spend a lot of money buying the next shiny object that will reinvent their business, make them closer to their customers, as well as involving consultants, creating new roles (social strategists, community managers, anyone?) or to outsource them, however all these efforts will count to nought if the current employees are not excited about the products they are building, the service they are delivering and the place and people they work with.

Because all said and done, social brings human relationships and conversations to the fore. Yes, there are analytical tools and automation tools that will measure and maybe also fill out activity streams, add conversations to relevant systems of records - but until we make Hal (or IBM's Watson gets more mainstream) the focus will squarely be on people.

Ray Wang keeps saying that business is not B2B or B2C anymore, it's P2P - and the launch of the Social Business Index by the Dachis Group also reiterates that the signals employees send out will have an impact on how "social" companies are seen as.

As I tweeted today, if ERP was an articulation of business processes, then social business is an articulation of business relationships (and the ability to discover new relationships and change behavior based on feedback from those relationships)

So yes invest in tools, services and technologies that will make you more "social" - but more than all that invest in culture, training, education, listen to your employees.

Technologies will not make your company more social or better products, services - your people will. Since it is all about relationships - there will be missteps, failures, even embarassment - because really, what relationships are without those?
Enhanced by Zemanta