At this point in your social business journey you have managed to convince the CEO and/or executive team that an evaluation of social business as a via alternative business management process is worth looking at. The task now is to create a compelling business case that will allow you to build a structure within the organisation that supports the fundamental concepts of social business. Let us confirm what those concepts are and then return to the how of using them to assist with the success of the business case proposal.
Social business concepts include:
- encourage sharing
- capture knowledge
- empower employees
- enable action
- enhance collaboration
- support transparency
- link content to people and places
What you’ve learned so far from within your own organisation, using parts 1, 2 and 3 of my “So you want to make your business a social business” blog post.
You asked questions of your executive team to elicit their knowledge of what it means to be open to “being social”. Answers to these questions will include the degree to which they believe the organisation is (a) open or closed to collaboration, (b) has IT support for the introduction of social business software, (c) the extent of knowledge of social media and (d) the degree to which your executive is hierarchical or flat and open.
You also now have a clear understanding of the knowledge pool contained within the employee base (through the survey conducted under my blog post “So you want to make your business a social business – part 3″, regarding their participation in external social networks. Armed with this valuable and extremely poignant information the creation of a business case can be justified and supported empirically.
At this stage the business case is simply asking for approval to implement a social business strategy on a part of the business that would benefit from our core social concepts. To achieve a successful result you will need to be able to:
- identify at least one critical business function or department to be involved
- have at least one senior executive endorse the need for adoption of social networking in the above function or department
- be in a position to critically assess current business practices with a view to how to apply social to it
- identify the support team you will need, ie champions and advocates
- propose a budget for time to conduct analysis, design, software acquisition (potentially) and community site build
- provide supportive case study material that clearly demonstrates successful forays into the adoption of social business by other organisations.
If you’re still a little unsure of how to pull it all together, we’re here to help.