Social Business By Design – A personal summary (Chapter 3)

Who’s Wining in Social Business and Why

This chapter provided case studies of organizations who have had success with social business and the examples listed below  :

a. Social Business Workplace  (Millercoors) : Making use of social network to  connect workers (in particular) female workers for peer support in the form of mentoring problem. Private social network were used to peer relationships.

Lessons learned :-

Virtual connections drive real-life results in the sense of community and cohesion that had been lost in a highly mobile and physically fragmented workforce.

Decentralized, peer-created value assisted by centralized, dedicated resources at headquarters. (Ref : Social Tenents 1 & 2)
b. Optimizing Supply Chains with Social Business   (Teva Canada) :

  • Use Microsoft Share Point as a collaborative tool within supply chain
  • Use Strategy-Nets software to extend it to customer services, sales and marketing for better planning and optimization of business flow.
  • Use Moxie Software, a social tool to enable real-time conversations and supporting traditional social media such as blogs, wikis and shared document editing.

c. Reorganizing corporate communication with Social Business  (IBM) :

  • Deployment of own social business platform in addition to public platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

d. Improving Stock Trades with Social Business (Bloomberg) :

  • Using social media analysis tools (WiseWindows Mobi) to analyst for positive and negative feelilngs of stocks
  • Only aggregated opinions from all sources (Facebook, twitter, blogs etc) are predictive.
  • Conversation on social media reflect offline behaviour.

e. Boosting Retailer Productivity with Social Business (Mountain Equipment Coop):

  • Redesign intranet to meet the needs of its workers with similar user-friendly tools available in their personal life.
  • Getting Senior Management support was key for them to engage the rest of the staff. .

f. Enlisting Customer with Social Business to Create Better Support (Intuit)

  • Using focused and transactional like (Question and Answer) online community to engage customers so that they can support each other.

Key Points :

1. Looking at Social Business through the lens what we currently used is not the right way to look at Social Business.

2. Unlike the early days of social media, managing the richness and sheer scale of outcomes presents the greater problem.

3. Success in Social Business promises riches such as superior innovation, lower defect rates, cost reductions, higher quality, faster market response, and more.

Personal Note :

a. With reference to point 2, depending on where the organization, be me, I believe that most organization was still struggling with getting results from social media.

b. In all the case studies, the organization used social media to address a specific needs or to resolve a problem within the organization. I believe this is the way to approach it as it makes it relevant to the people in the organization and not just some new tool that the organization is forcing them to adopt without any specific purpose.

c.  On my personal experience on the usage of social media tools, it has been mixed. When I first joined the organization, there were already efforts to promote social media such as blogs, forums etc with the knowledge management folks trying to advocate its usage. The importance of social media was also highlighted by some senior management staff but strangely, none of them practice it within the organization. By these, I mean none of the blog internally or participant in discussion forum. Sure, there were blogs by different division but it is mainly confined email to official communication that were previously email to the staff. The CIO and several other senior management staff do not even have a profile on Linkedin. To the staff, this can give an impression that they are merging giving lip service on its importance.  

With the division and the team that I was work in, we were heavy users of social media tools. My direct boss who is also my programme manager believes that whatever tools you introduced, it must be relevant to their work and help them be more productive. We tested out a couple of tools and it certainly the best working experience of my life for I was not working in a more productive manner but constantly learning as well.  Our team spend a portion of our time reading on anything that is of interest of us that is relevant to work. What we found interesting and helpful, we social bookmarked it so that the rest of the team gets to know about it. An excellent example of informal learning where I am learning from my own reading as well as from my teammates. We make use of enterprise wiki to co-author our requirement specification, minutes of meeting, status reports etc. As result of this, we find ourselves having lesser and lesser emails and if we do, they are pointers to information rather than the container of them. Hence, my conclusion is too is that to effectively make use of social media tools, we first have to identify a need then embark on the evaluation of the most suitable tools.

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