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Many Businesses Live In Fear—How to Break Free

Many Businesses Live In Fear: How Trust Drives Down Firms' Risk and Fear[Updated] Many businesses live in fear, and how to break free reveals how fear and risk can be sharply reduced by increasing trust among employees, customers and partners.

I have learned many surprising things while practicing experiential social media, but one of the most astounding is the realization that most business practices, especially those that concern people, are grounded in fear and mistrust. This ties businesses in knots, but few people realize it because it’s accepted as normal. This post aims to open your eyes, so you can start noticing how fear and mistrust operate in your firm. Then I’ll offer numerous ideas that can help you to reduce fear and risk by increasing trust.

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Ethnographic Research of Social Media

Ethnographic Research of Social MediaEthnographic research of social media is one of my biggest secrets. It has become the foundation of CSRA’s ability to create trust at scale, so here I’ll share a short story about how I came to use it with social media. Then I’ll explain what ethnographic research is, why it’s vital to CSRA, and how it works. Finally, I’ll share use cases for experiential social media, product management, and business innovation.

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Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis: Do You Need a CDO?

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis is an executive summary of how CSRA helps organizations assess their need for “going digital” and hiring digital executives. These engagements serve as “requirements analysis” for an enterprise, business or brand.

Improving the Selection Process for Digital Executives

Chief Digital Officer Needs Analysis: Do you need a CDO?Astute CEOs and boards of established firms and brands are awakening to an increasingly uncomfortable reality: for many, business results have been flat, and customers are behaving “unpredictably.” Since this is such a prevalent trend, there is emerging consensus that “going digital” is the way to get closer to customers(1) and revitalize business. CEOs or board members get on the phone to their executive recruiter to search for a Chief Digital Officer, a “digital CMO,” or maybe a digital-savvy CIO to lead digital transformation. As we’ll see, in so doing they are too often putting the cart before the horse. They will get better results by assessing their needs for digital expertise first, so I’ll offer a simple yet robust needs assessment process.

Although CSRA’s client work shows accelerating digital adoption […]

Digital Transformation's Personal Issue: It's the Key to Customer Experience

Digital Transformation’s Personal Issue reveals personal treatment to be the key to breakthrough customer experience, and it shows how digital social spaces enable Chief Digital Officers to use personal treatment to create more profit. Before they arrive, though, they need to lead their organizations through the Personal Issue. Digital Transformation's Personal Issue

The Personal Issue refers to a perceived conflict between empowered customers and profit-starved companies. Digital social technologies are enabling customers to “re-personalize” business and society because their online interactions among themselves are personal, which is changing their expectations of all interactions.

However, businesses resist treating customers personally because they fear cost and inefficiency. They don’t understand the digital social economics of treating customers personally online, at scale.

Meanwhile, the missions of chief digital officers (CDOs) and chief customer officers (CCOs) are creating bold new “customer experience” and profits by using digital technologies to transform organizations, brands and businesses. They will fulfill their missions far more quickly and completely by using the key.

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7 Social Business Transformation Tools [CDO Guide to Social Business Part3]

7 Social Business Transformation Tools provides digital executives the vital tools of online engagement, from the Social Business Life Cycle and Social Business Strategy Use Cases to the report that ranks social business advisory firms in their ability to help firms transform.

Social Business Transformation Tools

7 Social Business Transformation Tools is Part3 of the CDO Guide to Social Business for Transformation. The tools it describes encapsulate thousands of hours of hands-on experience with strategy and in-the-trenches execution work with global brands, and they explicitly address the ins and outs of people, process and technology. Part3 includes links to tools’ full versions, so CDOs can use it as a dashboard.

The Guide to Social Business for Digital Transformation helps Chief Digital Officers to understand and act on rapidly improving stakeholder relationships, productivity and business performance. The Social Business Competency Center has even more resources. The Chief Digital Office has other competency centers in Mobile, Big Data & Analytics and Ecommerce.

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The Social Business Enabler of Digital Transformation [CDO Guide to Social Business Part1]

TheSocial Business Enabler of Digital Transformation reveals how social technologies have changed the economics of interacting and collaborating, and it presents four ways that Chief Digital Officers can use social to lower risk and boost returns of digital transformation.

The Social Business Enabler of Digital Transformation [CDO Guide to Social Business Part1]Social business competency is pivotal to digital transformation because it combines four unusual characteristics. First, it makes interacting and collaborating an order of magnitude faster and less costly than current processes; second, few organizations understand how to use social business to interact with key customers to boost profit, so leaders enjoy rare advantage; third, when compared to ecommerce, mobile and big data & analytics investments, social business shows results quickly and costs less. Lastly, social business reveals what stakeholders really think when organizations aren’t in the room, so it’s effective for due diligence and “requirements analysis” for ecommerce, mobile and big data investments.

As Social Business Enabler of Digital Transformation explains, social business has a two-fold value proposition for Chief Digital Officers: they can use social directly to drive reputation, innovation and profit—and […]

How Social Technologies Have Disrupted Organizations [CDO Guide to Social Business Preview]

How Social Technologies Have Disrupted Organizations is a quick overview of the business and social environment around commercial, government and nonprofit organizations that sets the context for using social business for digital transformation.

How Social Technologies Have Disrupted Organizations [CDO Guide to Social Business Preview][UPDATED] Social technologies are quickly changing the context around why people buy products and services. Leaders of organizations in business, government and nonprofit sectors harbor a false assumption that is becoming lethal in the digital social age: they assume that products and services have inherent value to customers and constituents. In fact, products and services represent costs to customers and revenue to producers and service providers.

Customers must use products or services to create outcomes that are personally or professionally meaningful. The use of the product or service is where the customer or constituent produces value. This is why they buy. “So what,” you might be thinking. In this post I’ll show how digital social technologies are weakening mediocre products and services and how organizations can use social business to strengthen their offerings. Read a more in-depth treatment in Personal […]

Top B2B Salesperson Trust Killers Revealed

Top B2B Salesperson Trust Killers Revealed discusses the results of targeted B2B sales research I conducted on LinkedIn and features comments from many survey respondents.

Top B2B Salesperson Trust Killers Revealed

One of the key takeaways of The Dynamics of Change video was trust’s importance to B2B prospects’ risk management practices. To explore trust’s importance to B2B sales, I surveyed dozens of seasoned B2B sales executives, including clients and salespeople, in this LinkedIn Poll. The results reveal the nuances of trust and how salespeople must constantly challenge themselves to focus on trust, relationship and execution. For example, respondents said that too many salespeople fumble the ball on fundamentals.

B2B sales is a challenging proposition in normal times, but the challenging global economic malaise has only made budgets tighter and sales more daunting. In large B2B deals, salespeople have to build a significant level of trust with prospects before any deal can be done. This analysis aims to help firm executives and sales leaders improve performance by increasing trust with prospects and clients.

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Facebook As Investment: How Trust Issues Block Its Best Path to Wealth

Facebook As Investment: How Trust Issues Block Its Best Path to WealthFacebook As Investment: How Trust Issues Block Its Best Path to Wealth describes why Facebook needs to change its orientation to users to unlock its full wealth potential. Over the past month, it has been de rigeur to comment on Facebook’s IPO and “quality” as an investment, but I decided to hold back until I could free a window to consider the matter in sufficient detail. The result is the “Facebook As Investment” trilogy, of which this is the first part. Part Two analyzes Facebook-the-platform’s investment prospects. Part Three advises executives on how to isolate their social business investments from Facebook business risks.

I did not buy into Facebook and do not plan to invest in its stock. I think it is a fantastic social venue and platform in which to connect with people (“stakeholders,” friends, associates..)—personally and for enterprises and brands. However, as I’ll argue here, Facebook‘s Achilles heel is a significant trust gap with most of its stakeholders. Its trust gap will make it difficult for Facebook management to fully monetize […]

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks is a step-by-step approach to prioritizing your firm’s interactions in social networks to significantly improve the return on your team’s time.

Using the Relationship Value Map to Optimize Your Social Networks: trust vector

CSRA’s Relationship Value Map is a simple but invaluable tool you can use to organize your social networks to meet your personal or business goals better. Its Interest and Trust vectors intersect to create four quadrants for your connections. I designed it when working with individual executive clients in 2009, but CSRA uses it with enterprise clients as well, especially those with direct (B2B) sales forces who need to prioritize their relationship building activities.

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