Friday, May 11, 2012

Social business is a competitive differentiator - The dream of being a market leader now has to become reality

Source: lolpie.com via Hansol on Pinterest

On the tail end of a global financial crisis and as the world tries to avert another, the businesses which are going to flourish are those who are able to recreate themselves as their industry defines who they are to be.  It would seem that every system and process needs to be realigned to changing customer demand.  The dream of being a market leader now has to become reality.

Social Business is not about technology (though it may have been driven by technology), but it is more to do with the culture of a business.  It is about increasing productivity, working smarter, providing more value to customers and being able to take new ideas to market in less time.

If we are to look at social media, we see a lot of great ideas taking off and going viral.  We see people become famous over night, such as Justin Bieber, who despite my lack of enthusiasm has been successful on the world stage.  The term "crowd-sourcing" is one which suggests that we can get feedback from a crowd of people, who add power to an idea, such as the Occupy New York movement which went global.  This seems to be quite powerful in what many consider to be a fantasy world, but in reality it is a world which seems to be wielding great power.

If we were to look at this in a business context, it could be that a platform is created to encourage employees (crowd-sourcing) to share their thoughts on how to do business better.  A lot of staff are customer facing and while their ideas may not be practical or inline with best business practice, an active conversation may lead to a solution which will set your company apart from the competition.

Here are some traits found in a Social Business
  1. Employees feel like they are an integral part of the business
  2. They are able to attract and retain good employees
  3. They can deliver on products and services, faster than their competitors
  4. Innovation is the signature of their success
  5. 57% of go-ahead businesses are Social Businesses

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