A couple colleagues recently reached out to me on the topic of how best to implement social business within a mature company. Some employees seem to flock to the latest collaboration and social technologies on their own. Most employees seem unsure why they should be using these technologies and how to go about getting started. Finally, some employees want to avoid social and collaboration technologies at all costs.
The fact is that emerging technologies do get a lot of hype and sometimes leaders decide to implement these new hyped technologies without the proper understanding of the change that will be required in business processes and what the impact that will have on employees.
The bottom line for me with any new emerging technology...whether it is is analytics, cloud computing, or social business is that successful implementations of new technologies must have three strategy elements integrated and in place 1) Technology Strategy (the new emerging applications and tools) 2) People Strategy (changes to skills, organization, and culture) 3) Business Process Strategy (changes to tasks, activities, etc.).
Too often I see a focus on the technology strategy too much without a focus on the other two. It's like a three legged stool....if one or two legs are bad the stool falls down. The business leader must focus on having the proper people and processes in place and that often depends on the culture that business leader develops and promotes within the organization. Leaders who give the green light to implementing new technologies without understanding the impact on people and processes, will only see those technology initiatives fail.
So my message and advice is that culture does play a big part in implementing change within a mature corporation. In my mind, culture change is the responsibility of our business leaders and therefore leaders should not implement new emerging technologies unless they understand the impact on people and processes.
Regarding the topic of implementing social business and the cultural implications of doing so, I’ve developed a list of links for those of you who would like to read up more on this topic. Enjoy.
- IBM: The New Collaboration: Enabling innovation, changing the workplace
- IBM: The Social Business: Advent of a new age
- Book: IBM Press Planning and Implementing Social Software for your Enterprise
- IDC: Social Business Framework: Using People as a Platform to Enable Transformation
- IDC: Becoming a Social Business: The IBM Story
- Dachis Group: Social Business Design
- Case Study: Alstom - People and Process First. Technology Second
- Linkage White Paper: Social Media: Finding Its Way into Your Business Strategy and Culture
- Tieto White Paper: Transforming in a social business
- Book Chapter: Leader Does as Culture Is
- Book: http://www.thecultureofcollaboration.com/ a book by Evan Rosen. Evan blogs also at http://collaborationblog.typepad.com/
- Blog Post: Social Business Impacts People, Process, & Technology
For more information on the Social Business trend itself, check out my other Social Business related blog posts