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Why employers should rethink their attitude towards Social Media…

Many interesting infos have we seen concerning how companies and employers are seeing and opening up their minds about Social Media usage in their offices.

PayScale now comes up with an interesting collection of data based on how employers have adapted Social Media usage for their employees. Some key findings are in the following infographic which makes clear that companies are still in a control mode and have their difficulties becoming “The Social Enterprise”.

– Just a bit more than half of the companies (53%) have a formal social media policy.
– Still 42% of companies don’t allow any forms of Social Media activity at work.
– The smaller the company the more likely the company has a Social Media policy in place.
– With 65% the retail industry is the most evolved industry sector, followed by manufacturing and biz support.
– Energy companies are least likely to use Social Media versus media companies that do encourage their employees.

Spot On!
The infographic shows that there is some kind of ambiguity in the adoption of Social Media inside companies. Although most companies see value in employer branding, in recruiting people through Social Media platforms (80% according to LinkedIn) as well as for external communication like promotions, marketing and PR, many companies still don’t want to go the final mile in transforming their company into a “Social Business”. So, why are they banning the use of these platforms, if they see ROI for their employees in working with it? Isn’t the open and transparent use of Social Media in business more important for the future than it has ever been? For marketing and HR ok, for the rest of the employees not?

Just think about the fact that two out of five Gen Y workers rate Social Media above a higher salary (well, they don’t have kids and family liabilities…). When 56% don’t want a company than bans Social Media companies should rethink their HR strategy and see the value in a Community Centric Strategy

Innovation study: Is culture or strategy the key to success?

Obviously, the headline question is not easy to answer. Both elements have their impact on business success. At this years IBM JamCamp, we could hear many presentations why “culture eats strategy for breakfast”, and how to turn your business into a social business (i.e. Sandy Carter’s speech) that will drive innovation to new dimensions (and here is some hint how companies might get huge investments for social business realization).

A new study by Strategy& also shows that spending more on R&D won’t drive results. The results from the study illustrate that the most crucial factors are strategic alignment and a culture that supports innovation. The study surveyed almost 600 innovation leaders in companies around the world, large and small, in every major industry sector.

So what makes a truly innovative company? For sure, a focused innovation strategy, a compelling business strategy, deep customer insight, intelligent networking, as well as a splendid set of bright tactics. These are all elements that help giving your company an innovation boost. Still, the study states that corporate culture ties everything together — the organization’s self-sustaining patterns of behaving, feeling, thinking, and believing.

Still, the results of this year’s Global Innovation 1000 study make clear that only about half of all companies say their corporate culture robustly supports their innovation strategy. Moreover, about the same proportion say their innovation strategy is inadequately aligned with their overall corporate strategy. And although entire industries, such as pharmaceuticals, continue to devote relatively large shares of their resources to innovation, the results are much less successful than they and their stakeholders might hope for.

What I like about this study is that it supports my assumptions and thoughts of the Community Centric Strategy model. Across the board respondents identified “superior product performance” and “superior product quality” as their top strategic goals. And their two most important cultural attributes were “strong identification with the consumer/customer experience” and a “passion/pride in products”.

Statements like the following from the study could be taken as a proof for the future development towards a more cultural business attitude that puts the consumer in the middle of your innovation efforts…

“Our goal is to include the voice of the customer at the basic research level and throughout the product development cycle, to enable our technical people to actually see how their technologies work in various market conditions.” Fred Palensky, Executive Vice President of R&D and CTO, 3M Company

In my presentation at the IBM JamCamp 2011 I made clear that companies and brands need to close the perception gap between consumer’s demand and company goals. If companies don’t respect the 5 C engines of the Community Centric Strategy these two expectations cannot be aligned. We will continue to talk of target-groups instead of consumers that are grouping together in “community centers”. This is more of a cultural development companies need to go through than definable strategic capabillities by companies to drive innovations. By closing both the strategic alignment and culture gaps, companies and brands will better realize their goals and attributes.

Spot On!
The study results show that companies and brands should rethink the way they drive their innovation strategy. It suggests that the ways R&D managers and corporate decision makers think about their new products and services are critical for success. This includes all aspects how they feel about intangibles such as risk, creativity, openness, and collaboration. When nearly 20% of companies said they didn’t have a well-defined innovation strategy at all, it offers the chance to start anew and with the right approach. The Community Centric Strategy might be one solution for companies to evaluate culture as one of the main drivers to achieve your strategic goals in a modern way of doing business.

Study: Social Business is critical to future success

Jive Software recently published a study that unveils how social software is increasingly perceived as a strategic executive imperative in the enterprise. Surprise? No. Jive is a provider of social business technology and commissioned the study, which was conducted by Penn Schoen Berland and asked 902 U.S.-based knowledge workers.

The three key finding can be summarized as…
– Social strategy will be critical to the future success of businesses.
– App Stores are gaining traction in the enterprise
– Email usage is growing but is not solving communication challenges in the enterprise

So, what are essential facts from the study…?

Enthusiasm for social software in enterprise is high according to the study. 96% stated that social software adds value to at least one key performance indicator with 67% claiming it would improve customer engagement. 57% even believing it would increase sales or revenue. Two-thirds (66%) of executives responded social software represents a fundamental shift in how companies work and engage with customers.
However, only 17% of the same executives reported being ahead of the curve in this area. So, obviously web business strategy is not where executives think corporate culture should be. And that is although 83% of executives leverage at least one social network for work use.

Reference marketing is becoming essential and social software will play a big role in the future of purchase decisions. 54% of millennials said that they are more likely to rely on and make purchase decisions from information shared via personal contacts in online communities versus 33% more likely to use information from “official” company sources.

Obviously the study also finds that mobile is growing. App stores are gaining tracion in the enterprise and 74% of executives are indicating interest. The reason i salso mentioned in the study. 92% of executives and 82% of millennials believe that work-related web-based apps greatly or somewhat increased their productivity.

As a final finding, the study states the growing use of email which the bloggosphere is evaluating as a weak collaboration tool for a while. The study agrees here. 89% of executives, 88% of millennials and 76% of general knowledge workers believe that they and their teams would be more productive if they could dramatically reduce the time spent writing and reading emails. Seventy-three percent of executives, 73 percent of millennials and 64% of general knowledge workers agree that social platforms will fundamentally change the way people share, connect and learn at work and with companies.

Spot On!
The study obviously favors the benefits of social software (it is a Jive USP). Some weeks ago, an IBM study took a step ahead and looked at the way executives have to challenge SocialCRM in the future and what their main fields of activity are at the moment.

So, if knowledge management in companies via social software is seen to have client engagement potential to improve business objectives, executives should have a close look at the following numbers and think about how (and how long to wait) to implement social software in their business processes: 73% of execs and millennials and 64% of general knowledge workers agree that social platforms will fundamentally change the way people share, connect and learn at work and with companies.