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Why Social Strategy Means Organizational Culture in 2014


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The important element of social strategy is no longer what tools you use and how. Successful companies are investing in their organizational culture as a differentiator and as their key to adaptability and survival today and in the future.

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Published in: Business
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Why Social Strategy Means Organizational Culture in 2014

  1. 1. building adaptive cultures Why Social Strategy Means Organizational Culture in 2014 © SideraWorks LLC 2013
  2. 2. “To reap the full benefit of social technologies, organizations must transform their structures, processes, and cultures: they will need to become more open and nonhierarchical and to create a culture of trust. Creating these conditions will be far more challenging than implementing the technologies themselves.” - McKinsey Global Institute
  3. 3. It’s Finally Happening. Organizational culture is becoming the linchpin for success in a social era. ! We’re pushing past the “oh hey, we should be on Facebook!” phase to the “hey we’re on all this stuff and…um…things are happening to our business as a result.” ! Maybe this is finally the year that we realize the fundamental truth: ! The true power of the social web is not in the activities we undertake – the tweeting, the posting, the content. The real revolution is in the impact that the activities have on our organizations as a whole, and how we adapt (or don’t) to respond to them in the long term. ! Here are four examples of what we mean.
  4. 4. 1. Your customers have completely different expectations now. They expect you to be responsive, to provide information and help on-demand, and to do so regardless of things like geography, time zone, or business hours. ! That means you have to empower your customer-facing teams differently, teach them the culture of communication on the web, give them frictionless access to the information they need, and ensure that they know how to collaborate with each other inside the company so they can meet those realtime expectations.
  5. 5. 2. The people that do and will work for you have different expectations, too. Employees don’t just want a great salary and benefits with a fancy office anymore. ! Traditional work ‘perks’ are changing rapidly with the new generation’s rise in the workforce, and the emergence of a new era of managers and executives. We want autonomy and decision-making power, no matter where we sit on the org chart. We want to be empowered with information, and we also want to contribute information and ideas. We want to feel like our work has value beyond the bottom line, like we have a purpose behind our work. And we don’t want to be tethered to a desk, or even a specific office, in order to get stuff done. ! The nature of the entire workforce is changing, and our organizations need to change too if we’re going to attract and retain the very best talent in an entrepreneurial-minded era. !
  6. 6. 3. Transparency isn’t a choice. Everyone – from your customers to your critics to your employees – is armed with the tools to expose your organization in one way or another. ! It might not be something as devastating as a scandal or trade secrets. It could be something as mundane as your employee handbook or pictures from your company holiday party. ! But being “transparent” isn’t something you choose, it’s something that’s chosen for you. Which means that you cannot change that by trying to make everything more opaque, putting up more barriers and fences and darkening the windows. Prevention at a broad scale is impossible, because you’re outnumbered. ! What you can do is build an organization that, when the curtains are thrown wide, you’re proud of. It doesn’t have to be perfect or without mistake or flaw. It simply needs to look like the organization you say you are. We want integrity and continuity, and a company that leaves us feeling good about their impact on the world, however big or small. ! The social web wants to see behind the curtain, and if they’re determined enough, they’ll find a way. So the important investment is in building the organization that’s meant to be seen.
  7. 7. 4. Organizational culture determines your ability to thrive in a social era. The tools are going to change. That’s an inevitability. ! The one thing that will set you apart and ensure your ability to adapt to whatever comes next is the strength and clarity of your organizational culture. You need to know what you value, far beyond what’s printed on a boardroom wall somewhere. Your employees need to understand the soul and personality of the organization so that all of their decisions are make in accordance with those beliefs and behaviors. ! Organizational culture is the one thing your competitors can’t duplicate. And it’s the glue that will ensure a consistent, collaborative path forward when all of the strategic and tactical pieces shift beneath your feet because of changes in the world or the market or both.
  8. 8. Adaptability will win. Your goal shouldn’t be to win Facebook or YouTube. That’s way too short term and much too superficial. ! Your goal should be to become the organization that is best equipped at a human level to understand and process changes as they emerge, respond to shifting needs and demands of the market, and make agile decisions. Your goal should be to become the business that can easily respond to the next Facebook, Twitter, or the new currency, or a fully remote workforce. ! Which puts an entirely different perspective on where you should be investing your time and organizational development efforts. It’s time to consider adaptability as a core value in itself, and work to develop it in your company. ! Are you thinking beyond the surface, and considering how your entire organization has to shift to meet these new demands? ! SideraWorks can help you prepare for the realities of today, and the opportunities of the future. Contact us today to find out how.
  9. 9. SideraWorks is a boutique firm working with a selective roster of clients. We’re a small, hands-on firm, and we intend to stay that way. ! Our leadership team has broad business experience, from marketing to communication, technology to operations, customer service to social business strategy, even nonprofit management. We’ve worked with small, entrepreneurial organizations all the way up to Fortune 50 companies. ! All of our work is designed to put people first. Because getting the human element right in business is more than just a boardroom mantra. It’s mission-critical. ! Our work is based on the individualized needs of the companies we work with, not just generic maturity models. We’re not afraid of the hard work, and if we don’t have an answer to a problem, we’ll roll up our sleeves and find one. ! SideraWorks engagements range from one or two day custom workshops and retreats to ongoing advisory services and partnerships. ! If you need to understand and embrace the new era of business, strengthen your culture and evolve your company to meet the future, we’re the right firm to help. Contact us, and we’ll respond personally right away. ! Toll Free: +1 (855) 9SIDERA (974-3372) Direct: +1 (312) 300-7914
  10. 10. “Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.” - Seth Godin
  11. 11. building adaptive cultures © SideraWorks LLC 2013