Strategy Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption

Strategy Report: Advisory & Services Firm Social Business Adoption 2012[UPDATED] Strategy firms are the most trusted names sought by CEOs and boards of directors who are reevaluating their companies’ identities, strategies and operations. Strategy firms have been making measured investments in social business over the last few years. Their knowledge of enterprise transformation is deep and broad, and they all have proprietary methodologies for most aspects of the strategy and transformation life cycle. They have deep and broad expertise in market analysis, competitive analysis corporate core competency analysis and virtually all aspects of operations. Many firms have large business transformation practices that explicitly guide clients through profound redefinition and change.

Strategy firms have extensive core competencies that could enable them to offer social business strategy services. In addition, Strategy firms are significant producers of thought leadership relevant to corporate and business strategy as well as operations. Most firms field high quality management journals whose papers are written by their consultants. Many have research boutiques or even full-fledged businesses for research and thought leadership. However, they are challenged by very conservative cultures […]

Social Business Team Building [Recruiting]

[UPDATED] Several times over the past few years, I have been contacted by major brands to advise them on finding a “social media executive” to help them “figure out social media” and “create a strategy.” In 2012, many firms began building social media teams in earnest, and this trend will continue to grow in the years ahead. Firms are also bringing “social media work” inside after having outsourced it to agencies. All of my client work has involved helping clients to build social business competency and teams, so here I’ll offer some pointers for how to build teams and avoid the pitfalls most companies experience.

Although each organization’s culture is different, the CEO, CDO, CMO or CAO will be happier with the social business investment if s/he doesn’t invest far ahead of return on investment, which remains low at firms that insist on “business-meaningful” metrics, not the PR- or “brand-building” variety. It’s a chicken-and-egg challenge: how do you know what kind of team to build until you’re achieving real business-meaningful returns on your social business initiatives?

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Create More Opportunity with a Career Mission

You can create more opportunity with a career mission, especially when you don’t get distracted by traditional career or job search concerns like whether you have a “consulting” or “employment” relationship. Here I’ll share how you can create far more opportunity by changing your assumptions about work, tapping the Social Channel and aligning yourself with the emerging Knowledge Economy. To illustrate the point, I’ll use myself as an example because I’m a veteran of many types of “work arrangements.”

It’s the good news-bad news story of the almost-decade: legacy “work” and “jobs” have permanently gone by the wayside as the primary means for people to be productive in “modern” economies (bad news). However, people can create a higher quality of life by adopting a more flexible approach to work, and organizations are crying out for flexibility (good news).

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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Forecast

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic ForecastI covered the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Economic Forecast last week, where all speakers issued this refrain: “More of the same.” Key economic indicators have been stuck in neutral—the proverbial “sideways” movement—so the consensus in the room was one of faint frustration tempered by gratitude. Everyone had lived through worse.

The current “recovery” is underperforming any other in recent memory according to many measures, especially employment.

The conference was very well organized and featured expert presenters. Reading between the lines, I perceive significant opportunity that will surprise most people. After my notes of speakers’ remarks, I’ll share my thoughts on 2013’s opportunity that is evident when one regards “the economy” from a different point of view.

Everyone wonders what kind of presents we will open in 2013 (right).

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Knowledge Economy Products and The Future of Manufacturing

Knowledge Economy Products[UPDATED] Several profound market forces are preparing the ascendancy of Knowledge Economy products, which result from collaboration among designers, artists, engineers, customers and firms. This represents one of the Knowledge Economy’s most exciting-yet-disruptive elements: “products” will cease to be dominated by monolithic factories that mass produce virtually all items that people use and consume. Moreover, people have an inherent joy when they can make things for themselves, their friends and their families—and a dramatic new wave of creativity and innovation is imminent. To help you wrap your mind around Knowledge Economy products, this post will recall what happened to mass media and entertainment industries.

Knowledge Economy products are conceived, designed, prototyped and fabricated in the Social Channel. Best practices in open source, Agile development, design and Web development will unleash continuous innovation at a scale and pace we’ve never seen before. Knowledge and innovation will be free in the Knowledge Economy because all supporting processes will become an order of magnitude faster and cheaper. Firms and brands that do not recognize and respond quickly enough will become irrelevant.

Most brands can […]

The Social Business Organization Audit and Social Business Strategy

The Social Business Organization Audit and Social Business StrategyThe social business Organization Audit serves as the second half of the due diligence process that is the foundation of the social business strategy. The first part is the ecosystem audit by which the firm has assessed the external digital world that’s relevant to its business. However, this is only half the picture: now we need to assess the firm’s capabilities to engage the ecosystem, so this is an internal analysis.

By conducting external and internal due diligence, we arrive at a social business strategy that optimizes the what the ecosystem values most highly with the firm’s ability to deliver. The social business strategy marries the ecosystem audit with the organization audit to determine optimal sharing scenarios (pilots).

The social business Organization Audit begins with a basic core competency analysis, drills down to stakeholder issues & actions and synthesizes these steps into several “trial pilots” that it will then vet through several other steps: social business good practices uses the ecosystem as a filter to learn from other firms’ similar initiatives, resource analysis gauges employees’ […]

The Social Channel of Value [Executive Summary]

The Social Channel of Value explains our era’s drivers of economic transformation and how leaders can use them to strengthen their careers, organizations and communities. Profound shifts in human beings’ means of production restructure society and business because they alter the amount of “value” human work can create as well as the type of “products” that encapsulate people’s work. Individuals and organizations that notice, observe and understand these shifts early on can improve their relevance and competitiveness. Many of those that do not respond quickly enough go down with the ship.

Since the Social Channel is so important, I have published the Social Channel Trilogy, which is summarized here. Find even more information on the Social Channel home page.

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Social Business Policy: Boosting Legal Safety and Employee Engagement

Social Business Policy | social business management | best practiceSocial business policy (social media policy) engagements are some of the most interesting, revealing and critical engagements CSRA has done. Of course, organizations’ main motivation for creating social business policies is protecting themselves against possible legal threats caused by employee interactions online; however, a far greater threat is overemphasizing the legal threat and sabotaging employee engagement online. Well researched and crafted social business policy increases trust between the employer and employees—and among employees, leading to more appropriate online interactions, which burnish the firm’s reputation. Here, I’ll outline how you can use the process of creating the policy to manage legal exposure while increasing employees’ trust and productive social business activity.

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The End of Social Media Reflected by Fake Followers

Bill Snyder at Infoworld posted some amazing statistics that support the end of social media as we know it, which I predicted in 2009. Marketing and public relations have been losing influence for years because they are impersonal, and people prefer personalized interactions (deep dive here), so marketers and their vendors are grasping at straws. In this context, “social media” has generally been practiced as a shallow promotional activity, and my premise in predicting its demise is that the true potential of social technologies is creating and maintaining relationships, which are based on personalized attention and caring.

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The Global Social Channel: How to Compete Globally

Social Channel Three: Using the Social Channel to Defend Native Markets and Penetrate Foreign Markets

The global Social Channel will reintroduce “home court advantage” to national brands because those that use social business to compete globally by collaborating with users will have the cultural advantage; “foreign” firms may have better product features for the money, but they will not match home brands’ cultural fluency. Personalized service and attention are culturally specific, and deep cultural fluency directly correlates to intimacy. However, brands can only develop the home court advantage by practicing social business at an advanced level. Most have a long way to go and, meanwhile, they will get hammered when they persist in competing on product features in the Productized Channel of Value.

The blade cuts both ways: the home court advantage will make exporting to emerging markets much more difficult in the years ahead. The Social Channel will raise the bar because users in all markets will increasingly expect brands to relate to them and to solicit their input and advice. Brands will have to invest significantly in developing in-market social business […]