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The Executive’s Role in Social Business

A majority of respondents to a survey by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte say that their companies’ social capabilities are at an early stage of developing social capabilities. However, executives are increasingly recognizing the value of social business to their organizations, and a majority of C-suite respondents believe that social business represents an opportunity to fundamentally change the way work gets done.

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Finding the Value in Social Business

A recent survey by MIT SMR and Deloitte shows that companies are starting to derive real value from social business — with the payoff concentrated most strongly in companies that have reached a certain level of sophistication in relation to their social business initiatives. The higher a respondent rated his or her company on a “social business maturity” scale, the more likely he or she was to report that the company is deriving business value from its social business initiatives.

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What Managers Really Think About Social Business

Given that technology-based social networking has been transforming social norms for the past decade, will social networking and social software have a similarly transformative effect on business? Are they already doing so? How are enterprises benefiting?

MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte asked thousands of managers about how their companies are using social media tools — and how important those tools are becoming to their organizations. Here’s what they said.

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How Companies Can Move Past a Trough of Disillusionment in Social Business

Dion Hinchcliffe, Chief Strategy Officer of The Dachis Group and co-author with Peter Kim of Social Business by Design (Jossey-Bass, 2012) says some companies are facing a “trough of disillusionment” with social business, but that this is normal, and there are strategies a company can take to move forward and become a more fully enabled social business. Among these are building social media literacy, integrating existing initiatives, and connecting social tools to how work gets done.

Image courtesy of Amazon.

Creating Value Through Business Model Innovation

Companies are increasingly turning toward business model innovation as an alternative or complement to product or process innovation. Changes to business model design can be subtle; even when they might not have the potential to disrupt an industry, they can still yield important benefits to the innovator. The article offers a number of examples of business model innovation and poses six questions for executives to consider when thinking about business model innovation.

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Image courtesy of Flickr user Peter Hilton.

The Key to Social Media Success Within Organizations

Though the use of social media can be a valuable way to enrich a company’s culture and enhance its productivity, it isn’t a sure thing. The main reason some social media initiatives fail to bring benefits to companies is because the initiatives don’t create emotional capital — that is, a strong emotional connection between stakeholders and the company. That’s the main finding of a survey of 1,060 executives about their experience with social media, along with a number of in-depth case studies.

Vince Golla, director of digital media and syndication, Kaiser Permanente

Social Business at Kaiser Permanente: Using Social Tools to Improve Customer Service, Research and Internal Collaboration

Social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook have helped Kaiser Permanente — the nation’s largest nonprofit health care provider — grow its positive media mentions close to 500% in the last five years, says Vince Golla, who oversees the organization’s external digital reputation.

Image courtesy of Hokey Pokey.

Increasing the ROI of Social Media Marketing

Marketers know social media should be a powerful way to generate positive word-of-mouth. If marketers can select the right platform, design the right message and engage the right users to spread that message, their campaign should succeed. One successful campaign — which marketers can look to as an example — took place at Hokey Pokey Ice Cream Creations, an upscale ice-cream retailer in India. By following a seven-step process, Hokey Pokey substantially improved its social media marketing.

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Why Social Business Initiatives Fail

Deeper analysis of the 2013 social business report from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte shows that organizations may be inadvertently setting up their social programs to not succeed by not having clear objectives for the programs and by not giving employees enough free time to fully engage with the projects. Gerald C. Kane, an associate professor at Boston College, combs through the data to find three insights into social business failure.

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Is Your E-Business Plan Radical Enough?

During the dot-com frenzy of the late 1990s, most large, traditional companies scrambled to find successful e-business strategies to fight off the aggressive new challengers. Unsure of how to proceed, many turned over their Internet efforts to the CIO and the information-technology organization. In most cases, that was a mistake.

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Ray Wang Surveys the Evolution of Social Business

R. “Ray” Wang has been a highly respected analyst of social business in enterprises for years. Here he discusses how social business evolves in more socially developed businesses, how uses are growing in the area of service and support and hire to retire on the on-boarding side, and innovation and ideation. He also examines the critical role of leadership, gamification and how social business is changing the future of work. Wang lays out the specific signposts that a business can look for as it moves from step to step along the path of being a more fully socially enabled enterprise.

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Social Business By the Numbers

The general interest magazine Harper’s includes a famed feature every issue called the Harper’s Index. It’s a list of random and yet sometimes connected facts about anything and everything in the world. Here, our version of an Index highlighting the facts and stats we’re intrigued by in the world of social business today. Contrasts percentage of CEOs and CIOs who believe social media is important to their business today. Also, contrasts market estimates for enterprise social software.

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Image courtesy of Kennametal.

How to Identify New Business Models

Companies traditionally pursue growth by investing heavily in product development so they can produce new and better offerings; by developing consumer insights so they can satisfy customers’ needs; or by making acquisitions and expanding into new markets. This article identifies a fourth method: “business model experimentation,” or using thought experiments to quickly and inexpensively examine new business model possibilities.

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Beyond the Business Case: New Approaches to IT Investment

When senior managers at United Parcel Service (UPS) first decided more than 15 years ago that package tracking had become a competitive necessity in the package-delivery industry, they discovered that developing the capability was not as simple as writing or buying a package-tracking application.

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Your Turn: What Questions Do Managers Have About Social Business?

What trends and companies should we explore in our upcoming social business survey? The differences between countries and cultures when adopting social business globally? The differences between using social tools internally and externally? The ways social can provide competitive advantage? Tell us your thoughts and help shape the next survey, which will launch in October 2013 and be reported in the summer of 2014.

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