If innovation is the most overused word of 2014 , then “social business” must be the most misappropriated term.
Every other organisation I come across is claiming to be one. But what does it mean to be a social business?
Altimeter Group defines it as:
“The deep integration of social media and social methodologies into the organisation to drive business impact.”
Indeed Brian Solis has written about the need to distinguish the two:
A social business is more than social media and the Likes of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, et al. Yet, it’s a term that’s often confused with social media strategy. But, there’s an important difference between a social business and a social media strategy.
Social business is a philosophy; a way of business where social technologies supported by new approaches facilitate a more open, engaged, collaborative foundation for how we work.
I also really like this description from Andrew Grill
A social business is an organisation whose culture and systems encourage networks of people to create business value.
I’m lucky as I get to talk about social business with lots of people , and the ones who ask my advice almost always mention culture as the main organisational barrier to the adoption of social and digital technology.
We all want to be a social , collaborative business. How do we know when we’ve achieved it?
Here are 20 signs that we’re probably not there yet:
- Internal meetings happen behind closed doors rather than being distributed and networked.
- You are doing nothing about email. You just add more of it everyday.
- People have to seek permission to have a social media presence.
- You can only talk about work stuff on social media. You can’t be human.
- You measure followers , fans, likes and web hits rather than relationships.
- People put time in the diary to “do social media”.
- Your social media accounts switch off at 5pm and weekends.
- You don’t turn internal reports into publicly available blogs , videos and infographics.
- You think it’s job done as your CEO has a twitter account.
- There’s no evidence of social removing hierarchy.
- Most of the people who like your Facebook page work for the company.
- Social media is treated a channel of its own rather than part of an integrated whole.
- You just promote your own organisation rather than being a generous sharer of other peoples knowledge and content.
- You borrowed someone else’s digital services plan and copied that rather than think of your own.
- Your Comms team runs social media. Because it’s just a Comms thing.
- You still say things like “Not many of our customers use Twitter”.
- You still say “Our customers are quite elderly – they don’t use social”.
- You don’t know who are the influential members of your social community.
- You don’t follow customers and potential customers back and get to know them.
- Your organisation still exists in departments – HR, IT, Operations. Knowledge is sorted accordingly. Compartmentalised. Siloed.
Truth be told – very few of us work for a truly social business.
We are all on this journey together.
What would you add to the list? I’ll add any suggestions to a special Haiku Deck!