To successfully adapt, CxOs should examine department, division, and/or enterprise missions and explore natural directions for improvement. This leads to a measurable social media result, something achievable: Time management, improved processes, outbound marketing communications, better customer relations, product marketing/development, return on investment (ROI) or another organizational improvement.
While marketing communications is the most talked about enterprise use of these tools, there are many. But because it’s the one that involves customers, potential increased revenues, new sources of revenue and increased loyalty, marketing communications has oft been the first focus of enterprise innovation and adoption in social media.
But even upon identifying a desired outcome, allocating the necessary time and resources, and authorizing a project, many social media projects fail. And that in large part occurs because of the siloed culture that deploys it.
Whether it’s controlling the conversation, publishing public statements (and associated processes), legal issues, or performance measurements, many processes stop people from using social media tools within the enterprise. I know one consultancy where they tell everyone to use social media, but then ask the workers why their billable time is down.
Audit HR and workflow processes to enable social media participation versus punishing people. Let people use the tools to talk to each other. Lower the firewall enough to let external stakeholders participate.
Remember, old industrial processes seek to close silos in an effort to compete and protect. Those old defense mechanisms don’t necessarily work anymore. Each process should be vetted in comparison to the potential gain: Does the risk this seeks to avoid really outweigh what we can achieve? Adjust accordingly.
Using the marketing communications model, here are some examples:
It’s all about empowering the front line and associated stakeholders; more people power vs. less control. But still, don’t relinquish quality checks. The reality is while more brain power is good, there are still dangers to crowdsourcing and idea markets.
In essence, beehives still have queens. And organizations, while evolving to more open, information friendly architectures will naturally change the way they communicate, still need management. Great decision making, while informed by more and different sources, still runs companies. Vetting information sources intelligently becomes a critical component to enabling leaders to make strong decisions.