Social, Now? What Will (Finally) Change the World of Work?


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Tim Walters: Despite great enthusiasm and some positive results, enterprise social tools and practices have failed to make a significant impact in terms of implementations, adoption, regular use, or business results. In this (abridged) keynote presentation from the Social Now conference in Amsterdam (April 2014), I argue that enterprise social will continue to falter as long as the focus is on 1) the tools and practices (the "build it and they will come" fallacy) or 2) the benefits for the employees (the "it's all about the people" fallacy). Rather, social business will flourish when it is used to address a fundamental shift in business conditions -- namely, the empowerment of consumers and the consequent need for all firms to master customer experience management (CEM).

  • @Jane McConnell Hi Jane - Thanks for the comment. You're right, my 'dreary' comment referred not only to your report but more broadly to the signs of slowdown (in purchases and VC activity, as you note) and to the possibility in light of the conference's title that the enthusiastic support for enterprise social is waning -- perhaps in the face of the cold reality of the 'how,' as you point out. (That is, from 'What do we want? Social! When do we want it? Now!' to 'Social, ah, now? Maybe?' These initial slides aren't in the Slideshare deck.)

    So to be sure, I was emphasizing the resistance social continues to encounter. As you report, 'few organizations including Early Adopters, say that social networking plays a role in people’s daily work habits.' (You data shows 21% of Early Adopters and 3% of the majority report 'weekly' social activity -- which makes me wonder, what about the daily and *hourly* activity that would be a real sign that social had become an indispensable aspect of work.)

    I agree with you that the poor adoption is not really surprising as long as organizations are not paying (great) attention to HOW social tools and practices can help people do their work and produce business value. The anecdotal success stories you tell show that this can in fact happen. It may also be happening with greater frequency. But I think we can leap beyond these occasional wins when we add WHY to the question of HOW. Why should companies care about social tools and practices today? I think the answer lies in another question: What is the greatest challenge facing almost any organization today? I believe that the answer is: The need to adapt to a fundamental shift in the business environment caused by digital disruption and the resulting empowerment of consumers. We call this the customer experience management (CEM) imperative. (Customer includes prospects, and consumer includes business buyers.)

    Does this mean that learning and optimizing CEM should now take priority over enterprise social projects? The direct answer has to be yes. But as I try to explain in the last part of this slide deck, it's not a question of choosing (and funding) one or the other. In contrast, I think that successful CEM is not possible without the proper enterprise social practices . . . AND that the imperative for CEM provides that business justification that social has so long and so often struggled to articulate.

    Finally, I think this perspective underscores and sharpens your HOW question. Namely, it is not (only), 'How can enterprise social tools and practices be, as you say, 'an active and driving force' (for business success AND change?' The sharpened question is, 'How can social contribute to and improve an organization's ability to produce, present, and optimize consistently positive and exceptional customer experiences?'

    In other words, social becomes a component (an important and indispensable component) of CEM -- because getting CEM right is THE life or death challenge for every company today -- AND the perennial question of the business value / ROI of social is answered by the fact that it is now embedded in and contributing to CEM. It goes without saying (which is my code for, it would have to be said at more length ;-) that CEM cannot be achieved without the kind of fundamental organizational transformation that you (and Susan Scrupski and the other Change Agents) are devoted to brining about.
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  • HI Tim - you entitled one of the slides where you quoted me about the change in focus from tool to behavior as 'dreary news' but I think it's encouraging news.
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  • I'm really happy that I introduced you to Social Now: you did an amazing job with your opening keynote, Tim! Thank you for coming!
    See you at the next ?
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  • Great stuff. Of course I have comments! I dispute some of the studies in this space that point to widespread failure. What will finally change the world of work is enlightened people who have the economic, political, and social clout to effect change in their organization. They know the WHY. They need help with the how. Thanks much Tim for featuring so many of our Change Agents in your presentation.
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Social, Now? What Will (Finally) Change the World of Work?

  1. 1. Social, Now? What will (finally) change the world of work? Social  Now  Amsterdam  2014   Tim Walters, Partner and Principal Analyst Digital Clarity Group
  2. 2. Ana introduced me to Social Now 2   @6m_walters  
  3. 3. The name implies, first, the state of social business (right) now 3   @6m_walters  
  4. 4. 4   But also the “social movement”
  5. 5. 5   . . . which is losing patience
  6. 6. 6   . . . and getting anxious
  7. 7. Dreary news from the front 7   Source:  h?p://­‐value/decrease-­‐of-­‐interest-­‐in-­‐enterprise-­‐social-­‐soIware-­‐signals-­‐a-­‐shiI-­‐from-­‐tool-­‐to-­‐behavior/  
  8. 8. 8   Growth is slowing – dramatically ≅50%   ≅78%   ≅8%   Source:  h?p://­‐value/decrease-­‐of-­‐interest-­‐in-­‐enterprise-­‐social-­‐soIware-­‐signals-­‐a-­‐shiI-­‐from-­‐tool-­‐to-­‐behavior/  
  9. 9. 9   Deployment falters at “the chasm” Source:  h?p://­‐value/decrease-­‐of-­‐interest-­‐in-­‐enterprise-­‐social-­‐soIware-­‐signals-­‐a-­‐shiI-­‐from-­‐tool-­‐to-­‐behavior/  
  10. 10. 10   Early adopters don’t . . . adopt Source:  h?p://­‐value/decrease-­‐of-­‐interest-­‐in-­‐enterprise-­‐social-­‐soIware-­‐signals-­‐a-­‐shiI-­‐from-­‐tool-­‐to-­‐behavior/  
  11. 11. 11   Trivial impact on daily work Source:  h?p://­‐value/decrease-­‐of-­‐interest-­‐in-­‐enterprise-­‐social-­‐soIware-­‐signals-­‐a-­‐shiI-­‐from-­‐tool-­‐to-­‐behavior/  
  12. 12. “When asked to rank their company’s social business maturity on a scale of 1 to 10, more than half of respondents gave their company a score of 3 or below. Only 31% gave a rating of 4 to 6. Just 17% ranked their company at 7 or above.” 12   MIT/Sloan 2013 Global Study Source:  “Social  Business:  ShiIing  Out  Of  First  Gear”  Based  on  survey  of  2545  execu6ves  in  99  countries  and  25   industries.  Note  that  the  report  defines  “social  business”  to  include  consumer  social  sites  (Facebook,  LinkedIn,   etc),  internal  social  networks  (e.g.,  Cisco  Learning  Network),  enterprise  social  tools  (e.g.,  Jive,  Yammer,  or  custom   built),  and  social-­‐based  data  and  marke6ng  intelligence.   @6m_walters  
  13. 13. §  “77 percent of business and IT leaders say their companies are currently using social collaboration technologies” §  “82 percent of businesses currently using social collaboration tools want to use more of them in the future” §  “The most widely used social technologies” are Facebook (74%) and Twitter (51%) §  “Business and IT decision-makers have a false sense of accomplishment when it comes to social collaboration” 13   Avanade Global Survey of Ent. Social Source:  “Is  enterprise  social  collabora6on  living  up  to  its  promise,”  May  2013.  Survey  of  1000  business  leaders  and  4000  employees.    
  14. 14. 14   It’s safe to say . . . Social tools are the green eggs and ham of enterprise software. (Social advocates badger reluctant employees to try/adopt them. In the book, it works – thus confirming it’s a work of fiction.)
  15. 15. 15   Why isn’t social working? (My list) §  Misunderstanding social §  Platform megalomania §  Inattention to knowledge processes §  “Up with people!” @6m_walters  
  16. 16. 16   h?p://­‐content/uploads/2012/05/UWPColwellslowres.photo_.jpg  
  17. 17. 17   @6m_walters  
  18. 18. Really? If it’s all about the people, why do so many initiatives look like this? 18   @6m_walters   Enterprise Social Adoption (aka the Lemming Curve)
  19. 19. Supporting people is not enough 19   80%OF SOCIAL BUSINESS EFFORTS WILL Not HIT THE MARK FOR INTENDED BENEFITS Source:  Gartner,  January  2013   @6m_walters  
  20. 20. 20   at      WORK @6m_walters  
  21. 21. §  Lack of urgency §  Middle management forgotten §  No real empowerment §  Fragmented digital environments §  A lot to learn about change 21   Why isn’t social working? (Jane McConnell) Source:  h?p://­‐collabora6on/5-­‐reasons-­‐social-­‐intranets-­‐have-­‐not-­‐taken-­‐off/  
  22. 22. 22   What will (finally) change the world of work? Social tools
  23. 23. “The What – the social platform itself – is already dealt with, at least for early adopters.” Now we’re “tackling the big issues of How.” – Jane McConnell Better: How and WHY? 23   Source:  h?p://­‐value/decrease-­‐of-­‐interest-­‐in-­‐enterprise-­‐social-­‐soIware-­‐signals-­‐a-­‐shiI-­‐from-­‐tool-­‐to-­‐behavior  
  24. 24. 24   Why? Traditional business is broken . . . Source:  h?p://­‐diss-­‐the-­‐paradigm-­‐shiI-­‐in-­‐management/  .  Deloi?e  analysis  of  20,000  US  Frims   Return on assets and invested capital are ¼ what they were in 1965.
  25. 25. “It begins with the idea that a firm is in business to make money for the shareholders. To this end, managers direct and control the workers. Work is coordinated by rules, plans and reports, i.e. bureaucracy. The overriding value is that of ever greater efficiency. Communications are top-down and aimed at maintaining control. Work revolves around “the boss”. The firm’s principal focus is internal. Its principal dynamic is control with the objective of ever greater efficiency.” – Steve Denning 25   . . . and rewards dehumanizing practices Source:  h?p://­‐diss-­‐the-­‐paradigm-­‐shiI-­‐in-­‐management/    
  26. 26. 26   How? Ask the Change Agents §  “As organizations begin to realize that they need to transform the way they operate, and to challenge their structure and purpose, in order to survive in a world of increasing complexity and fierce competition, rethinking the very nature of work has become critical.” (Thierry de Baillon) §  “Employees are increasingly looking for personal growth, purpose recognition, access, influence, impact….The future of work is about getting back to basics and unleashing the power of people.” (Ayelet Baron) §  “Change in the workplace starts and ends with people, with how they relate to and work with one another. You need people who understand people as part of your team.” (Richard Martin) Source:  h?p://  
  27. 27. 27   . . . and ask some others, too §  “The starting point for organizational change is to realize that our understanding of how we work, alone, with others, and together has altered. The foundations of business that most organizations are operating on are no longer relevant, if they ever were. We need to operate in ways that are aligned with our inherent characteristics.” (Clark Quinn) §  “If old world organizations are going to keep their best people from fleeing to greener pastures (or find willing new recruits from colleges), then the first thing they’re going to have to do is recognize that each and every one of their staff are unique individuals, with passions, dreams, ideas, and a spirit of independence.” (Rob Caldera) Source:  h?p://  
  28. 28. 11. “The philosophers have only interpreted the world in various ways. The point is to change it.” 28   The Godfather of Change Management
  29. 29. The social tools have only interpreted the world of work in various ways. The point is to change it. 29   The Mother of All Change Agents? @6m_walters  
  30. 30. 30   But . . . notice what Marx does not say They should change it. We must change it. You ought to change it. Someone, anyone, please change it!
  31. 31. “The point is to change it.” 31   Where’s the Change Agent? Es kommt drauf an, sie zu verändern. (Literally: “It arrives thereupon to change it.”) There is no subject in the sentence, no actor or agent that could/will “change the world.” Why? Because Marx wants to emphasize that change is not just a matter of people “changing their minds,” of deciding to change. People do effect change, but only in the context of (and in conjunction with) changed conditions. Look at three instances where changed conditions are at work (and in the workplace) “behind the scenes.”
  32. 32. 32   1. Today’s employees §  “[Employers have to] recognize that each and every one of their staff are unique individuals, with passions, dreams, ideas, and a spirit of independence.” (Rob Caldera) §  But: Wasn’t this true for our parents? Grandparents? Workers now nearing retirement? §  So: What is different today that makes Rob’s insight pertinent now (and for the future of work)? Source:  h?p://  
  33. 33. 33   2. Yesterday’s Change Agents §  “This dimension [team work and collaboration] has been successively discovered—and forgotten and then loudly rediscovered—by Mary Parker Follett in the 1920s, Elton Mayo and Chester Barnard in the 1930s, Abraham Maslow in the 1940s, Douglas McGregor in the 1960s, Peters and Waterman in the 1980s, Smith and Katzenbach in the 1990s and Richard Hackman in the 2000s. . . .[M]anagers would for a time embrace collaboration and teams, and then in a crisis, disband the teams and revert to the default model of . . . controlling individuals.” (Steve Denning) §  So: Why did the previous change agents fail? What is different today that makes Steve’s call for “radical management” more realistic and likely to succeed? Source:  h?p://­‐diss-­‐the-­‐paradigm-­‐shiI-­‐in-­‐management/    
  34. 34. 34   3. Accommodating Millennials §  But: Previous generations also had unique habits. §  And: All firms must acknowledge the need to accommodate. (Otherwise, millennials must just adapt to the world of work, as did previous generations.) §  So: What is different today that makes this gen’s demands so powerful? Source:  h?p://­‐millennials-­‐are-­‐transforming-­‐the-­‐workplace  
  35. 35. 35   What will (finally) change the world of work? Social tools People A change in conditions?
  36. 36. §  Digital disruption empowers consumers §  Outside – In (Forrester) §  Delighting customers (Steve Denning) §  The consumer expectation/demand for positive experiences 36   What has changed?
  37. 37. 37   Consumers gain voice and choice @6m_walters  
  38. 38. Only   38   1%   feel  their   expecta6ons   for  good   customer   service  are   always  met     Source:  Harris  Interac6ve  survey  of  North  American  consumers,  2011.     Among U.S. consumers @6m_walters  
  39. 39. 39   Say they have switched business to a competitor due to poor customer experience Source:  Harris  Interac6ve  survey  of  North  American  consumers,  2011.  Commissioned  by  RightNow.   @6m_walters  
  40. 40. 40   Source:  Okeeffe  &  Company  survey  of  1,342  senior  execu6ves,  2012.         Global executives say the cost of not providing “positive, consistent, and brand relevant experiences” is 20% of total revenue@6m_walters  
  41. 41. “Consumers are empowered by information and shared opinions, and they are emboldened by choice. They have developed an appetite for rich and rewarding interactions, and they rarely hesitate to seek alternatives when disappointed. Increasingly, companies will succeed and fail according to the quality of the experiences that they offer.” - The CEM Imperative: Experience Management in the Age of the Empowered Consumer Digital Clarity Group 41   @6m_walters  
  42. 42. 42   What will (finally) change the world of work? Social tools People þ A change in conditions= empowered consumers= CEM
  43. 43. Agent   Drivers   Iner-a/Inhibitors   Vendors   Compe66ve  differen6a6on;   client  needs   Est.  business  model;  installed   base  (switching  cost)   Enterprise  (end  users)   Customer  sa6sfac6on,   revenue,  shareholder  value     Customer  expecta6ons;   security/regulatory  reqs   Consumers   Convenience,  pleasure,   relevance,  empowerment   43   Seeking Change Agents §  Consumers relate “purely” to change. They “dictate” the future because they have no interest in it. §  “Consumerization of IT” really means: Aspire to make IT digital experiences as responsive, flexible, open, and hungry as today’s digital consumer. @6m_walters  
  44. 44. 44   How you think of consumers Source:  h?p://­‐center/nga-­‐research/consumer-­‐panel-­‐survey   @6m_walters  
  45. 45. 45   How you should think of consumers Source:  h?p://­‐goes-­‐truly-­‐worldwide-­‐with-­‐smartphones   @6m_walters  
  46. 46. Consumer no longer names a buyer, or even a person. It is a name we give to the process of change. 46   Change is the only constant @6m_walters  
  47. 47. §  Millennials are a mindset, not an age group §  They bring (in)to work the changed conditions of the business environment §  They represent and literally embody the appetites, expectations, and unarticulated desires of consumers §  The millennial mindset should not be “accommodated,” it should be leveraged as an (in)valuable asset §  Work (places, process, structures) change for the sake of consumers . . . and benefit employees (millennial or not) (only) as a result 47   Accommodating Millennials?
  48. 48. what it means 48   WIM  
  49. 49. Provides -  Support for digitalization/ automation of work -  Structure and accelerator for business transformation 49   Social   CEM   Org   Transforma6on   Needs -  Business justification -  Clear/measurable impact, value proposition, ROI Provides -  Cure for declining business performance -  Structure for organization- wide customer-centricity Needs -  Business driver that justifies a radical shift in practice -  A “why” that proves a radical shift in the conditions of value production Provides -  A driver for org transformation -  A justification for social practices and tools (i.e., specific value-generating activities Needs -  Org-wide support -  Fundamental transformation of business practices (e.g. outside-in) -  (Software) support for agility, responsiveness, innovation, “consumerization”
  50. 50. §  Social is not appreciated if held to traditional standards (e.g., ROI) §  Social will not be widely adopted if it is judged by (and aspires only to) the established goals of efficiency, productivity, and cost reduction §  Social will not be successful if it is a collaborative façade on traditional hierarchical organizations §  Social will not be effective if it serves as a Band-Aid on the gaping wounds of non-customer-centric companies §  CEM is the inescapable business imperative – and provides the necessary business focus for social, organizational change, and the future of work 50   Social now – and for the future @6m_walters  
  51. 51. 51   “You may hate gravity, but gravity does not care.” (Clayton Christensen) Think of CEM as gravity.
  52. 52. Tim Walters | Partner, Principal Analyst @tim_walters