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Selling Social Business To The C-Suite - SideraWorks

  1. Process Risk D ecision Policy Tree at I f...? Wh
  2. Resources & Citations eMarketer - Marketers Value Social Media for Both Branding and Customer Acquisition - January 30 Economist Intelligence Unit & PulsePoint Group - The Economies of the Socially Engaged Enterprise - March 2012 IBM - The Social Business: Advent of a New Age - February 2011 McKinsey Quarterly - Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 Finds Its Payday - February 2011 The_rise_of_the_networked_enterprise_Web_20_finds_its_payday_2716?pagenum=2

Editor's Notes

  1. Presentation given at Dreamforce 2012\n\nIntros:\n\nMatt Ridings, CEO\nMatt is a business strategist, speaker, and writer who has worked in digital on both the agency and enterprise side since 1994. He ran interactive for the marketing agency of record for such established brands as Levi’s, Cisco, and British Airways as well as the launch of ventures such as Jet Blue and RedSpark. He has also been involved in his own ventures, including as a partner building out a 300+ person consultancy. His work over the last 10 years has focused primarily in developing innovation cultures, change management initiatives, and specialized market research using social channels.\nHe is a frequent guest speaker, and sits on multiple advisory boards.\n\nAmber Naslund, President\nAmber is a business strategist with a strong focus on social, communication and community initiatives.\nHer expertise spans professional fundraising, corporate communications, marketing, professional services, and social business strategy. She’s successfully run multimillion dollar fundraising campaigns, built and led executive communication teams, and helped launch international brands. As the VP of Social Strategy for Radian6 (successfully acquired by in 2011), she advised Fortune 500 companies on social business strategy, and built a renowned community and social media team.\nAmber is also the co-author of the highly regarded social business book, The NOW Revolution, and her blog has been recognized several times for excellence in social media and community related content. She speaks professionally about social business and strategy at dozens of industry conferences and private events every year.\n\n\n\n
  2. This, in a nutshell, is the focus of our presentation today. \n“I’m the CEO, what are my challenges and how do I overcome them?”\nWe’re not here to help you convince your CEO to blog or get on Twitter. Those are just tactics.\n\nStop leading with a social point of view and instead lead with what pain/objectives does my CEO have and then demonstrate the way social business aligns with those objectives.  \n\nChange the conversation. Instead, expand the dialog to that of becoming a social business - which encompasses your social strategy - supports business goals and how to illustrate that to your CEO with a plan and models that work in real-life.\n\nImage courtesy:\n
  3. To successfully sell anything to the C-Suite you have to sell the same premise from 3 different ‘altitudes’. Look at each angle from their perspective ‘what do *I* want if I’m the CEO?’, ‘The Business?’, ‘Me?’. Align your needs with that of the CEO’s and the Business. If you can find the sweet spot and build a position for each angle then demonstrate how it supports individual objectives as well as the broader business vision you can find success in the c-suite.\n
  4. Let’s start with satisfying the broad business perspective. In this context that means looking to the outside and understanding whether the things you are trying to get buy-in for have been successful for others. To thrive in the knowledge based economy organizations are quickly having to evolve and enhance certain traits. \n
  5. One of the reason you’re seeing so many organizations talking about the transformation to a ‘social business’ is because the attributes of a social business are optimized for these very traits. This is less of a coincidence than it is a natural evolution of business.\n\nYou should always strive to start with a ‘yes’. Every CEO wants to improve these traits, so start with that perspective, achieve the ‘yes’ and then demonstrate how social business is the means to that achievement.\n\n\n
  6. We’re lucky now because those progressive companies that believed in the model of social business have been around long enough for results to start coming in, and they’re quite impressive. \n\nThese are the kind of business metrics your CEO needs to see. These are the kinds of metrics that pique their interest. These are the kinds of metrics that allow the conversation to continue far enough for action to be taken and commitments to be made.\n\n\n
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  11. Just making sure you’re paying attention\n
  12. One of our favorite stats. Demonstrates the difference between organizations that are simply ‘dabbling’ in social vs those that have fully integrated social throughout to become a social business.\n
  13. But when we take a look at it from the individual CEO’s perspective, there’s an interesting pattern that seems at odds with everything we just read.\n
  14. Great, those are the results from existing social business initiatives, but do CEO’s actually buy into it?? Executives were asked what they believed their gains would be from these digital initiatives and here are some of the numbers they stated. This is useful because it lets us know that not only are companies seeing real returns, but that most executives believe they would see those same returns if they undertook these types of initiatives as well.\n
  15. However, out of all of those statistics shown earlier, 81% of executives believe in those benefits but guess how many have actually started doing anything about it? *17%* Why?? As you dig through the research what you find is that these same executives who said they would achieve those gains if they undertook these initiatives gave these reasons above as the primary challenges they faced. If you analyze the responses it becomes pretty clear that they are not being presented solutions properly. Put simply, they are being pitched technology solutions. And they’re right, if you just dropped technology in place all of these organizational issues *would* be barriers to taking full advantage of it. So what’s that mean? It means when selling sweeping concepts into the C-Suite like social you need to have a plan that addresses these items in a holistic way or you’re not going to get very far. And the items in question aren’t departmental level issues, they are at an organizational level. They need to know that you not only have the vision but the capability. That you have looked at this from the broader perspective than simply buying some technology.\n
  16. That means if you’re going to overcome their challenges, you need a plan that tackles them properly\n\nImage courtesy\n\n
  17. The Plan:\nThat plan has to be relatable:\nFind corollaries. What has the CEO been through before that will allow them to relate to this effort? For example, most CEO’s lived through the first wave of the internet. They went through the transition of “Why do we need a website? Because everyone is doing it!”. Then it was a branding exercise, brochureware. Many of them felt the realities of when that moved into actual commerce. Marketing led the charge but then the effects rippled throughout the company. Customer Service was impacted, warehouse management systems had to be integrated, new taxation issues had to be dealt with so legal & finance found themselves in the same room with web developers, and so on. The social evolution is no different. Most of you have started at the edges, like marketing & customer service, but the impact points of these efforts are spreading throughout your organizations.\n\nIt’s also important to speak in the language of the CEO’s “altitude”. CEOs are concerned with meeting business-level objectives, improving effectiveness overall to bring down costs and raise profits (unless you’re an NGO, then it’s donation numbers that need to go up), building more customer-loyal organizations because they know it’s more expensive to acquire a customer than to keep one. So the “why” of your plan needs to at least articulate that you’ve thought about those things.\n
  18. Make it clear. Most people today still have confusion over exactly what social business means (heck, half the people in our industry seem to have the same problem). At its simplest, social business is about two things. 1) Structuring an organization properly to deal with the IMPLICATIONS of social media and 2) Optimizing the organization effectiveness using social tools and concepts\n\nWe’ve run headlong into social media, and most of us weren’t remotely prepared for how it was going to impact the organization overall. As adoption increases, so too does the pressure, and the demands of evolving expectations. \n\nEmployees/talent expect innovative places to work, communities expect responsiveness and engagement from companies and the individuals inside them, customers want accountability and channel-agnostic customer service that kicks ass, partners want to collaborate and contribute.\n\nSo as that pressure has increased, it’s even more important that we’re not building our priorities in isolation but in concert with our organization as a whole. \n\nWe’ve started some deeper and very important conversations about just how we adapt to the implications of all of that social media activity and those changing expectations, how they can create a ripple effect across our entire organizations and how it harbors immense potential for more effective and successful business: culturally, operationally, and financially.\n
  19. It wouldn’t really be right to insist that “you need a plan of attack” without providing you a starting point of how to do that. We spend a great deal of time with organizations in workshops helping them understand and develop their own so we’re obviously not going to be able to cover a ton of detail in a session like this, but we can at least give you a basic understanding of the approach.\n\nWe do this through the implementation of frameworks. Frameworks are a combination of form and function. Strong frameworks take into account an “ideal” state, but if done well are built on the rigor of real-world imperfections. It’s that combination of theory that is then progressively adjusted over time as it is tested in real world applications that makes for successful frameworks. As anyone who has done this can tell you, there is the ‘right way’, and then there is the ‘way that works’. It’s definitely a delicate balance.\n\nKeep in mind, however, that frameworks are different than templates. We love to track down and cite best practices, but recognize that case studies are written a) from a marketing perspective and b) for someone else’s company. So the elements might help serve as some inspiration for you, but resist the temptation to look at someone else’s paper and just copy their work. It’s most likely not going to be the right solution for your organization at all. The same goes for maturity models.\n\n\n\n
  20. Form. The first part of a framework is a model of the form or structure. \nOne of the most well-known and effective organizational models is a dandelion, or a hub-and-spoke, or a networked model where we illustrate distributed, decentralized areas of responsibility that are all interconnected and coordinated to drive the direction of larger initiatives and align their own business objectives with those of the larger organization.\n\nTheoretically, this is a highly efficient, well-oiled model that emphasizes interconnectivity and collaboration, that makes for a flatter model overall, leverages silos to organizational advantage (focus/specificity) instead of exacerbating separation of responsibilities to create bottlenecks, creates more connections both within the org and between the org and its stakeholders, supports internal and external initiatives. \nThe visual representation of it is pretty, balanced, well-designed and elegant in its simplicity. But the clarity on paper can be deceptive and a bit misleading. It is useful conceptually however so we’ll go with it for now. If you’d like to see how these models really looked when mapped in the real world we’d be happy to show you our work in that area, you can see some of it on the Expion Keynote speech posted on our SlideShare page here\n
  21. The second part of a framework is what functions are to be included within it. We discussed in the ‘form’ part of the framework the necessity of the existence of a hub. But exactly what are the roles that this hub (what we call a Center Of Gravity™) needs to play if it’s to be effective? This is one model that we find to be effective, scalable, and attractive to a C-suite executive who is wondering how in the heck they’re going to get a handle on all of the exploding and disparate social initiatives happening within an organization.\n\nThe hub has to have representation across the organizations constituent parts. Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, etc. are the obvious ones. But it’s just as critical to have Legal, IT, and HR representation. Through that representation, alignment with the organizations vision & goals is defined and codified. Social policies, the processes to support them, and governance to maintain them are established. Technology centralization and the associated due diligence for selection and procurement. Core education and training on the policies & processes as well as the technology. Culture initiatives. Auditing of culture and technology to drive the technology due diligence and culture initiatives, and to continually measure progress against social business objectives.\n\nCritical here too is in large type: education. Just a few slides back, our C-level execs were concerned with having the right talent and leadership in place to lead these initiatives. The one way to ensure that the talent is cultivated inside the organization is to teach it, and to make sure that education about social is a core part of everyone’s work, not just the people who are on the front lines of the community management team.\n
  22. One of the functions in that hub was auditing. In this sense it’s ‘auditing’ from the perspective of doing a ‘readiness assessment’.\n\nYou need the plan you put forth to your CEO to be relevant:\nThere is nothing done less, yet needed more than establishing effective audit practices. If you don’t know where you are then you have no way of building a map much less tracking progress towards where you want to go. Why should a CEO fund an initiative if you cannot set *measurable* objectives or if you can’t even clearly define *where* you are at any given point in time? And yes, even those ‘soft’ but critical elements like culture can be measured. One thing to understand is that when we say ‘audit’ in this context we’re not talking about “are you measuring your marketing activities”, that’s important, and we’ll speak to that in a moment, but a true audit is about a readiness assessment. Do I have the appropriate people in place with the right skills? Does my existing corporate culture support what I’m trying to do or will changing that culture become something that I need to address as well? Where are we as an organization when it comes to technology we have, technology we want, and our ability to integrate that technology effectively?\n\nWhat is the effectiveness of the activities you are already doing? Can you define that? If not how do you propose to be able to decide whether it should be replaced by some social business activity that performs better (or vice versa). How can you properly set your priorities without knowing this information about where your strengths and weaknesses are? Are you viewing your efforts from how they complement each other or simply in isolation?\n\n\n\n
  23. While organizations may rarely be doing effective audits, the one thing they *are* doing is making the common mistake of focusing on technology first. There are many reasons for seems an easy’s’s an asset...we don’t need to go into them all here, but what’s important is to realize that you can put in place all the technology you want but if the culture of collaboration isn’t in place...if a plan for ensuring effective adoption hasn’t been worked out...then it *will* fail. Companies made this mistake with CRM and you don’t have to look any further than their 2/3rds failure rate over the last decade for proof. This isn’t to say we don’t think technology is important, it’s incredibly important, and there’s no way you can achieve becoming a social business without it, it’s simply not where you should start if you want to succeed.\n\n
  24. Another item that needs to be addressed in that plan is risk identification, mitigation, and prioritization. These are some of the chief roadblocks that we hear over and over again from executive ranks. There are a few critical elements that deserve to be highlighted here based upon our experience. You *must* make sure that the policies, processes, governance models, etc. are representative of *your* reality and not a theoretical norm designed by committee. To that end there are a few things that we do in our consulting services to ensure that, that you can easily do as well. \n\nWhat we call Social Scenario Modeling™ is basically an exercise in asking ‘what if x happened’? And using that as a launch point for defining how we respond, who would do the responding, in what timeframe, etc. and then designing the organizations social policies to support that, building a playbook using the processes defined, and putting in place governance so that we can detect when that event occurs. \nAsking the “what if” questions allows you to get fears on the table, to start to create maps for solutions and processes that you’ll need for scaling your eforts as well as assembling playbooks for your teams.\n\nIt’s an incredibly simple and effective means of encouraging that coordination and alignment since complete and repeatable solutions will require different points of view and cross-functional groups to work together. It forces you to start looking at issues in a holistic way vs. simply at a departmental or business unit level.\n\n\n
  25. CEOs also mentioned that they lacked management expertise, internal leadership and the right kind of talent to lead social initiatives inside their organizations. \n\nOne reason is the lack of functional expertise, but there’s also a distinct lack of global education around social business initiatives, which means few professionals have the knowledge to lead or participate in those programs nor do they have significant incentive to do so since their performance objectives, training, and job profiles don’t include them. Both education and empowerment-based governance programs can help encourage participation through providing comfortable context, boundaries and guidelines, and can create encouraging environments for experimentation and learning (vs. creating divisive and restrictive policies that emphasize what employees can’t and shouldn’t do with social media and social business).\n\n\n
  26. Lack of appropriate data, measurement and accountability practices is frequently cited as a significant roadblock to establishment or expansion of social business programs.\n\nFirst and foremost, it’s critical to understand *what* data is needed to help power and support these programs, from social media platform and monitoring data to CRM, sales, web analytics, marketing, and other customer satisfaction, loyalty and insight data. A distinct lack of that information can hinder any early efforts to tie social program goals to larger business objectives since correlation becomes all but impossible.\n\nNext, it’s important to assess how you’re going to collect that information, who is responsible for gathering and analyzing it, and how you’ll go about making decisions or adjusting strategies and tactics based on that information. After all, measurement itself is not the goal, but rather to improve decision-making and derive insights based on that data that can help shape and improve the programs that are in place. Executive ranks don’t always need immediate and definitive positive results vs. investing in programs more long term or at a cost, but they DO need to understand that the practices are in place to gather data and determine whether or not those programs are working and what the investments ARE (people, capital, other resources). \n\nThe “social media ROI” argument is often a straw man for the real issue behind social business programs: not understanding how and where you’ll tie performance and metrics for those programs -- whether financially focused or not -- to the overarching goals of the business.\n
  27. Which brings us to culture. Social business, that alignment of an organization to deal with the implications of social media and the creation of a more collaborative & effective workforce, has already proven it’s effective but it can only succeed fully with the right culture in place. \n\nThe architect Daniel Burnham and his partner John Wellborn Root broke barriers in architecture in the late 1800s in Chicago. They learned how to defy the soft, clay-ridden ground in Chicago that caused buildings over a few stories to sink and falter. Bedrock in the city was over 125 feet underground, and it was impossible to sink caissons that deeply in order to allow for a taller building.\nUntil Root had the idea to engineer a new bedrock. He designed a system for pouring concrete slabs that were interlaced with a grid of iron bars that ran the span of the building base. A fundamental support structure that touched every part of the building.\nOnce he engineered this foundation, Root made it possible for him and Burnham to design and construct the first of the country’s skyscrapers.\n\n\nIn fact, social business transformation is often far more cultural than operational. But it’s the very foundation - the bedrock - of business initiatives that are not only built for the right reasons from day one, but that can grow and be sustainable as the fabric of your company shifts.\n\nCulture instills things that aren’t readily teachable in a training classroom. The values of the company as felt in practice. Those values are what help allow your people and teams to do something that’s absolutely essential to making all these other things work: make independent, real-time judgments that reflect how the company, collectively, would act if it were an individual person. If brand is the emotional aftertaste you leave with your customers, than culture is the emotional appetite that you give to the people that work with you. It serves as the proxy for executive vision: What would the boss do here? and reduces fear and friction at the margins of your organization. After all, if you know you have a culture that’s positive and well aligned and staffed with the right kind of people that you trust, giving them a role in leading social initiatives should feel like a brilliant rather than a terrifying move.\n\nYou don’t have to have the perfect culture day one, no company does. But investing in and developing your culture *does* have to be a part of any social business initiative, and one that you invest in regularly even if you can’t reach out and touch the results. (You *can* measure them, actually, but that’s another talk altogether.) It’s important to talk to your executives about the pivotal role that culture plays in guiding your individual teams and departments as they build and deploy social initiatives.\n\nIf the building is sinking but you’re determined to build skyward, you don’t curse the soft ground. You engineer a new bedrock. Culture is that investment, for all of us, and the future of business. The tools, the technology, the infrastructure even, will always change. But your culture is the lifeblood of your company, and the piece that will help all of your other initiatives take root and thrive and adapt to whatever comes next. \n\n\n
  28. Great, so transitioning towards a social business has proven benefits. The business needs are clear, the CEO’s needs can be met with a plan, but does she believe that *you’re* the person to make it happen? Why is this in your wheelhouse? The impact of these efforts goes far beyond a single department so why are you the one expending your energy to tackle this? \n
  29. Be The Change Or Be Changed:\n\nBecause there are only two paths forward. The centralization of social initiatives is a guaranteed evolution. It will happen, period. You’re either going to be the one leading it, or you’re going to be the one being led. You can either be the change, or you can be changed. This isn’t pitting you against your colleagues. This is in fact a call to arms to *collaborate* with your colleagues, to seek out the people in your organization that are like-minded and interested in social’s potential to rally around it and give it the foundation and structure it needs to grow and thrive.\n\nAnd there is enormous opportunity for change agents in organizations who are willing to take on the hard work - those critically important but sometimes daunting first steps - to go beyond what’s on your job description just a bit, find a couple of co-conspirators who think like you, and grab the reins of social, proactively, for the benefit of the business. Be willing to help shape these programs from the perspective of the organization you want to create tomorrow, rather than letting it happen to you because suddenly you look around and social is an unruly, disorganized beast that desperately needs a handler. \n\nImage courtesy\n
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