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Social Media to Social Business (Expion Keynote Sept. 2012)


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Keynote presentation for Expion Social Business Summit given by Matt Ridings and Amber Naslund of SideraWorks. Plenty of organizations talk about where they are (maturity models) in regards to social, as well as the ideal state of where they'd like to be. But very few talk about the 'how' of bridging the gap between those two. In this presentation we attempt to give a brief overview of how a social business framework can facilitate that and what the properties of such a framework are. We answer those questions of what 'form' a framework takes and what its various 'functions' are to ensure that there is a proper balance between command and control vs. enablement of the various departments and business units. The download is a PDF including notes slides, if you have any issues downloading from here you can use this URL to download.

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Social Media to Social Business (Expion Keynote Sept. 2012)

  1. 1. !om Social Media to Social Business the realities of making the shift Matt Ridings, CEO @techguerilla Amber Naslund, President @ambercadabra Defining Social Business SideraWorks.comAmber: introFuture State: We (the consulting industry) provide lots of great visions for what a social business should look like when complete.Current State: We also talk a lot about figuring out where you are (maturity models)But we really don’t talk very well about how to bridge between those things, *how* to make it happen.Given the size of this audience, and the fact that you’re all already engaged with and believe in social, we thought we’d tackle as much as we can in about 30 minutes about building a pathto ‘how’.
  2. 2. no longer a theoryIt is so much nicer giving these talks now than it was in the past. Standing up in front of a room of executives and asking them to trust you isnt exactly the best model for success in theworld. Luckily weve now reached a point where the numbers from early adopters of social business are starting to flow in. Its no longer just a theory that were touting.Social *media* adoption of course has gone through the roof. Companies approach social for any number of reasons. Perhaps they feel pressured into it by some kind of online reputationissue or crisis. Others are terrified of an oncoming crisis, so they’ve begun to adopt it largely as a preventative measure. And still others, like those in this room tonight, see at least themarketing and media potential of social, so they’re adopting early and quickly in order to stay ahead of the competition or stay at the leading edge of a market.But even more so, the emergence of social *business* is proving itself to be a critical evolution in our organizations. Still not convinced?Let’s give you a few quick stats to chew on, from reputable studies done by solid organizations with sound methodology and well-selected samples.
  3. 3. 84% of social enterprises improve sales and partnerships source: Economist Intelligence Unit & PulsePoint GroupEconomist Intelligence Unit & PulsePoint Group -
  4. 4. 41% of companies reduce costs for marketing alone a survey of more than 700 marketers worldwide, 88% of respondents told Wildfire Interactive, a social media marketing software company, that social media helps grow brand awareness. Social mediaalso benefited marketers by allowing them to engage in dialogue (85%) and increase sales and partnerships (58%). An additional 41% of marketers said it helped reduce costs. (Read more at
  5. 5. 57%of companies investing in social business outperform their competition IBM Business Value Study
  6. 6. 12 out of 7 CEOssay people make up statistics for presentations
  7. 7. 90% of social enterprisesreport measurable benefits source: McKinsey Quarterly
  8. 8. companies with well architected social structures see the returns of those with minimal social 4x engagement source: Economist Intelligence Unit & PulsePoint Group
  9. 9. Yet Only 17% have distributed social initiatives throughout the organization? source: Economist Intelligence Unit & PulsePoint GroupYet with all of that, only 17% of organizations have seen fit to coordinate social initiatives throughout the organization, and integrate social programs beyond marketing and into their overallbusiness operations and culture.
  10. 10. social media has implications for business...And that’s a problem, because we’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 adoptionincreases, so too does the pressure, and the demands of evolving expectations.Employees/talent expect innovative places to work, communities expect responsiveness and engagement from companies and the individuals inside them, customers want accountabilityand channel-agnostic customer service that kicks ass, partners want to collaborate and contribute.So as that pressure has increased it’s become clear that we need to do something about it.We’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 cancreate a ripple effect across our entire organizations and how it harbors immense potential for more effective and successful business: culturally, operationally, and financially.
  11. 11. what is Social Business?Enter social business.Social business is the concept of an an organization that’s continually optimized - both culturally and operationally - to communicate openly, adapt quickly, and collaborate with and amongeveryone that matters: employees, business owners, partners, customers, the community at large.When you ask business leaders whether they support the idea of social business they’re largely on board in theory, but cite chief challenges like scaling resources (both human and capital)and tying social initiatives to larger business goals.So to address those, our industry professionals have looked for ways to draw a picture of what the ideal social business looks like, giving organizations something to aspire to and a way tovisualize what that scale and organization looks like from the outside.
  12. 12. Mat Mod Matu Mod urit el rity y el YOUFirst, we reach toward tools we love in order to understand where we should be focusing our efforts. We established social media “maturity models” based on certain social table stakes:being on Facebook, having a listening platform, responding to customer inquiries on social sites. We love maturity models for the same reason we love case studies: they help us take theshortcut that other organizations have had to learn the hard way, or establish before us. They give us a nice, neat picture we can use as reference, as a starting point and a gut-check for whatwe’re doing.Which sounds great, but long term those maturity models are extremely limited. They’re based on averages, on businesses in the middle of the bell curve, on an amalgam of companies thatdon’t share your quirks, challenges, goals, uniqueness, or anything of the sort. Even if you found a company that looked like you from the outside, chances are the guts of that business arevery different than yours.Then we move more toward our organizational design roots, to the patterns of more progressive companies that address internal structures as well as external programs, and have come upwith several models that support social business.
  13. 13. designing FrameworksWe 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 onthe 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 successfulframeworks. 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.
  14. 14. FormForm. The first part of a framework is a model of the form or structure.One 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 ofresponsibility 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.Theoretically, 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.The 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. Because the reality most likelylooks more like...this.
  15. 15. Self-Support Channel Partners Customer Marketing Service Employee Advocacy Form EngagementThis is what the *actual* mapping of communication clusters taking place by and between an organization and the various members of its ecosystem looks like. Employees, customers,partners. It’s anything but neat and tidy and most definitely looks intimidating. No wonder we fall back on those simplified representations. who would ever try and tackle this complicatedthing? It looks like complete chaos. However, its actually an organization that is one of the most evolved social businesses we have. If we segment it into its constituent parts of activityyou begin to see the form of the hub and spoke a bit better.But the real problem with using over simplified visuals is that they don’t communicate *how* to get there, only a representation of the end result.Over the last decade there’s been a great deal of work done in modeling how social structures evolve and it turns out that it closely parallels the way that technology networks evolve.Whether we are talking about your neighborhood, cliques in high school, or technology enabled communities there is a very specific pattern. Why is it so important to understand *how*these things evolve?
  16. 16. You NeedBecause simply showing you a picture of the end state is like showing you a picture of this house and saying ‘this is what you need’ when...
  17. 17. You Have...this is what you have to work with. All the materials are there, but without a meaningful plan to transform them into the desired result, the picture of a house is useless.
  18. 18. FormSo let’s take a quick look at how social structures evolve using these network models. But this time let’s meet somewhere in the middle between the really messy, complex picture and theoverly simplified representation. Here we have individual departments. They sit isolated from meaningful communications between themselves, basically these are the ‘silos’ that we’ve allcome to know and love.
  19. 19. Form 1Then what happens is where most organizations are today. There are a few connections between groups that form, often around some centralized need. The marketing group, sales, andthe channel for example may maintain more solid connections through usage of a system to share and distribute creative assets and materials. The problem once you reach this stage isthat you will at some point stagnate. It’s been proven both in theory and the real world that the only way to move beyond this stage is through a centralized hub model.
  20. 20. FormSo we drop this hub into place (what we call a Center of Gravity) as a routing mechanism to facilitate connectedness.
  21. 21. FormAs connections are formed between the groups, information begins flowing by and between them through the hub. This is the stage most organizations are striving for and it provides ameasure of the desired command & control while enabling the distribution of knowledge, policies, processes, collaboration, culture, & values. There is an active process taking place hereknown as ‘network weaving’ to accomplish this. It should be mentioned that there is an even more evolved state than this that some organizations will reach after a few years called a Core/Periphery network model.
  22. 22. FormIn the core/periphery you begin seeing direct connections between groups forming outside of the hub mechanism. Self-organizing groups thrive and silo walls become transparent. Whilethis facilitates greater collaboration and a more engaged community it takes time to evolve because it’s only effective for companies once their values and culture are entrenched enough togive up a measure of command & control to allow this level of independence.
  23. 23. training technology e d u c a t i o n due diligence vision goals policy process auditing governance FUNCTIONSo we know the massive benefits of social business. We’ve talked about the ‘form’ part of the framework equation and the necessity of the existence of a hub. But what about the ‘function’part? Exactly what are the roles that this center of gravity needs to play if it’s to be effective?The 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, andHR representation. Through that representation, alignment with the organizations vision & goals is defined and codified. Social policies, the processes to support them, and governance tomaintain them are established. Technology centralization and the associated due diligence for selection and procurement. Core education and training on the policies & processes as well asthe technology. Culture initiatives. Auditing of culture and technology to drive the technology due diligence and culture initiatives, and to continually measure progress against socialbusiness objectives.
  24. 24. what if....?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. arerepresentative 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 easilydo as well. What we call ‘social scenario modeling’ is basically an exercise in asking ‘what if x happened’? And using that as a launch platform for defining how we respond, who would dothe 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 governanceso that we can detect when that event occurs.
  25. 25. where are we?The second thing we do is put in place meaningful audit systems to be able to determine where we are currently and continuously measure progress towards where we want to be. Withoutthis in place you cannot adjust and adapt properly, nor can you demonstrate progress to leadership effectively. Few things are as important as this step, yet it is by far the thing most peopleare not doing.
  26. 26. people first technology secondUnfortunately what people *are* doing is making the common mistake of focusing on technology first. There are many reasons for seems an easy’s’s anasset...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 planfor ensuring effective adoption hasn’t been worked out...then it *will* fail. That is the same way we approached CRM systems and you don’t have to look any further than their 2/3rds failurerate 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 withoutit, it’s simply not where you should start if you want to succeed.
  27. 27. BRIDGING THE GAPWhich 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, hasalready proven it’s effective but it can only succeed fully with the right culture in place.The 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 Chicagothat 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 tallerbuilding.Until 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. Afundamental support structure that touched every part of the building.Once he engineered this foundation, Root made it possible for him and Burnham to design and construct the first of the country’s skyscrapers.In 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 reasonsfrom day one, but that can grow and be sustainable as the fabric of your company shifts.Culture instills things that aren’t really 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 dosomething 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 human. Ifbrand 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.You 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 youinvest in regularly even if you can’t reach out and touch the results. (You *can* measure them, actually, but that’s another talk altogether.)If 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 ofbusiness. 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 takeroot and thrive.
  28. 28. training technology e d u c a t i o n due diligence vision goals policy process culture auditing governance FUNCTIONIntimidated by the mess, the unpredictability, the complexity we’ve just outlined? Never fear, things you may already be doing that support this approach and already likely have you on theway to becoming a social business: Education, certification or training programs Social media guidelines & governance Internal communities & collaboration efforts Establishing social media councils, steering committees, or other cross-functional groups Using listening and analysis to actively inform business decisions that go beyond the data’s source (i.e. using customer service feedback in social channels to inform product development improvements) Rewarding collaboration and innovation initiatives internally (i.e. employee sourced ideas/improvements, self-organized projects) Strong and positive emphasis on creating and sustaining an open, communicative culture (in practice, not just in annual retreats)Some form of these threads are already happening in your organization, all you need is a means of tying them together into a cohesive whole so you can move forward. Create that hub, acenter of gravity, for your organization and reap the benefits of becoming a truly social business.We believe in the potential for social business, for YOUR business. You have the pieces you need to move in this direction, and you can do it with determined effort. We’ve seen success incompanies of all sizes with all different challenges, and they’re each making progress toward their vision. If becoming a social business is something that you want to do - and you should -you CAN do it. We’re looking forward to seeing where all of you go next.
  29. 29. Thank you. @techguerilla @ambercadabra SideraWorks.comFor more information on how SideraWorks can help you as you put your social business plans in place, contact us at
  30. 30. Statistic Sources eMarketer - Marketers Value Social Media for Both Branding and Customer Acquisition January 30, 2012 Intelligence Unit & PulsePoint Group - The Economies of the Socially Engaged EnterpriseMarch, 2012 - The Social Business: Advent of a New AgeFebruary, 2011 Quarterly - Rise of the Networked Enterprise: Web 2.0 Finds Its PaydayFebruary, 2011