Social Business: Hype or Reality?

Social business is about how people use new media tools — aka social media — to enable their business strategy and organizational processes.   Over the next few years, there will be an increase in organizations using enterprise solutions to share ideas, innovate and simply get work done.   There is an increasing need to find the right experts within an organization who can share both successes and failures so others can learn from them and adapt them into their own work.   “It’s on the web” has frustrated millions of employees and social media tools show us that search has become much more effective today. 

As technology continues to change and evolve every day, people are not able to keep up.  And it is a fantasy to think that humans should keep up.  A shift in mindset needs to happen from people feeling overwhelmed by information to learning how to filter the information tools and make conscious decisions around:

  1. Do I focus on my work and then integrate the tools I need into my day?
  2. Do I filter information that makes me successful in my job?
  3. Am I using tools that add value to my work … email … instant messaging … SMS … PowerPoint … Slideshare.net … [insert tool here]?
  4. Do I have the ability to draw resources and people when we need them to solve problems and meet challenges?

I was recently invited to one of our key partners in Canada to share some thoughts on social business and I have included the slides below.  When asked about concerns about these tools and productivity, the CEO jumped in with a great insight: “I remember when we introduced the telephone into the workplace and there were huge concerns about how it will impact their productivity.”

In the end, technology changes, people don’t.  So think about your business strategy and how any of these new tools can help enable it … or don’t help.  Don’t jump into the hype.  Integrate it into your business – where people use the tools that enhance your business.  Never make it about the tools.  And try different ways as you can always learn from what doesn’t work.  I know I did.  I launched the first internal online community at Cisco in 1999 when the culture wasn’t ready for it.  

About Ayelet Baron

Ayelet is an expert in social business, online collaboration, global business strategy and operations. Her particular area of focus is implementing strategy and driving business results through people. She has a passion for social good and is currently working with youth in Kenya, using Cisco TelePresence. She is also on the Board of goal4.org and One Media. Ayelet is currently on the Canadian Executive Leadership Team and is responsible for strategy and transformation. She was previously on the executive team of Emerging Markets where she was looking at ways that emerging technologies can generate greater equity in Emerging Markets. Ayelet completed a Cisco Leadership Fellowship, where she worked with CIOs of 26 global non-profit organizations (Save the Children, Plan International, Care, Ashoka, etc.) on a roadmap of how to leverage repeatable ICT solutions, capabilities and resources for sustainable development. She also led the Healthcare Working Group, where she was responsible for ICT healthcare initiatives. Ayelet has a bonus chapter on the Generations and Social Media in Fuse -- http://www.fusethebook.com/
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2 Responses to Social Business: Hype or Reality?

  1. Pingback: Moving Into the Future With Online Collaboration – How Ready Are You and Your Business? « BootStrapToday's Official Blog

  2. Pingback: Social Business Round-Up | 1000heads: The Word of Mouth People

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