“Social” – Just an excuse for not doing real work, OR……….

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I write this blog as a result of my speaking at the upcoming #Auslug Australian Lotus Users Group conference being held in Brisbane Australia on March 11 and 12. My overall presentation is about being bold about a decision to adopt Social methods, principles and above all culture.

I hope to demonstrate through the power of example and sheer weight of numbers that “Social” is anything but an excuse. It does contribute in a very healthy way to the bottom line. Consider these numbers based on companies that have implemented a social business software platform utilising Jive Software(1) :

  • Enterprise productivity increase by 3%
  • Revenue increase by 2-4%
  • Sales win rates up 12% and deal cycle times dropped 22%
  • Marketers developed sales collateral 28% faster
  • Customer service reps were able to cut call handling times by 15% and overall call volume by 8%

In addition we are starting to see a plethora of good news stories about the successful introduction of social business software platforms supporting the social business/networking model. IBM Research shows us:

IBM’s 2012 Global CEO Study of 1700 CEO’s from 64 countries and 18 industries worldwide reveals that CEOs are changing the nature of work by adding a powerful dose of openness, transparency and employee empowerment to the command-and-control ethos that has characterized the modern corporation for more than a century.

“One of the most compelling findings is how in tune CEOs are about the implications and impact of social media,” said Bridget van Kralingen, senior vice president, IBM Global Business Services. “Rather than repeating the familiar lament about de-personalizing human relationships, this view leans heavily in favor of deepening them, and using dynamic social networks to harness collective intelligence to unlock new models of collaboration.”

And in support of these statements this graphic illustrates further the shift towards CEO thinking on the subject.

CEO’s get social ——->CEO's get social

If we are to believe that CEO’s across the globe are starting to understand the business benefits of Social Business, then we will also see a requisite rise in adoption of social business methods and software to facilitate its deployment across the organisation. A community is at the centre of social  business and is driving its adoption as a new way to do work. David Levin CEO of UBM states “Our business has always been about community”. UBM have pioneered the move to being a social business and have had the support of its CEO and executive team since inception. Whilst there is no doubt there is an increase in employee conversations, the bottom line is that those conversations are generating positive outcomes across the board, from customer engagement, employee satisfaction and empowerment to increased sales.

“Social” is having an effect both inside and out of the corporate firewall and while they require two distinct approaches, they are intrinsically linked. Internet based social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, etc gauge sentiment and provide insight into issues an organisation may have no direct control over. Social business software, deployed behind the firewall can manage responses to social media exposure by getting employees collaborating internally and utilising the combined knowledge of the corporate community.

At no other time has there been as massive an opportunity to understand customers and to expedite responses based on collective thought in the smallest amount of time. Show me another methodology and software platform that can do that.

What are your social business success stories?


(1) Survey conducted by top 3 global consulting company

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