Collaboration & Networks

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Are Companies Ready to Finally Kill Email?

Embracing social collaboration tools could raise productivity by 25%. So what’s the hold up? The problem is that too many companies have installed the right products and networks but have not implemented them into the fabric of how they work. “Full implementation means not only that people know how to use the new tools from a technological perspective, but that they adjust their communication,” writes Terri L. Griffith, author of The Plugged-In Manager.

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Intro Video: Making Social Business Work

A video introduction to “making social businessCompanies are getting better at managing social tools. A new survey finds that 40% of companies say theyíre getting value out of social business, double the rate of a year earlier. Behind the increased usefulness of social business are companies that have leaders committed to making the technology work, putting it into corporate strategy planks, and developing ways to measure social business and to reward employees for using the technology. But at many companies, social business remains stuck in first gear.

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Video: Making Social Business Work in Organizations

Companies are getting better at managing social tools. A new survey finds that 40% of companies say they’re getting value out of social business, double the rate of a year earlier.

Behind the increased usefulness of social business are companies that have leaders committed to making the technology work. These leaders are also putting it into corporate strategy plans and developing ways to measure social business and to reward employees for using the technology. Still, at many companies, social business remains stuck in first gear.

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Designing Effective Knowledge Networks

In today’s interconnected world, networks for sharing knowledge are important. Authors Katrina Pugh of Columbia University, and Laurence Prusak, coauthor of the book Working Knowledge: How Organizations Manage What They Know, write that by paying careful attention to eight dimensions of network design, leaders of knowledge networks can facilitate desired behaviors and outcomes.

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BMW Test-Drives Mobile Microvideo

BMW is pursuing consumer-to-consumer marketing using microvideo on mobile phones. The company wants to see if mobile social media can help boost sales. Wolfgang Breyer, head of international advertising, online communications and social media at BMW, says the company wants to see how mobile sharing compares to PC-based sharing, and whether microvideo offers an effective format for consumers. BMW is planning a pilot this fall.

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What Is Social Media, Anyway? (And Why Managers Should Care)

Despite the considerable amount of attention paid to social media by business, the press, and academia, managers still don’t have a clear understanding of what social media actually is. Managers need to understand the nature of social media so that they can understand its strengths and weaknesses for their own business. If they don’t — in a market environment increasingly influenced by social media — they may find themselves at a competitive disadvantage.

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What Can Managers Learn about Social Media from the Boston Marathon Bombing?

Now that the crisis and chaos of the Boston Marathon bombings and the hunt for the suspects have passed, managers can consider the critical role that social media played in identifying and apprehending the bombers. Key management lessons can be gleaned from these awful events: (1) recognize what is possible for your organization and (2) effective collaboration is a learned skill that, with time and leadership, can improve productivity for a significant number of employees.

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Can CIOs Step Up and Be Leaders in Social Media?

CIOs support social business and want to increase their knowledge about social media in the enterprise, but they face barriers to expanding their role. One of the big challenges is the increase in the IT capabilities and resources of the CMO as more digital tools are used in marketing functions. The roles of the CIO and CMO may be blurring, so the future of the CIO as a leader in social business is uncertain.

Jon Bidwell
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Redesigning Innovation at Chubb

As new markets emerge, large multinationals can find it hard to respond to them quickly. In the mid-2000s, specialty insurer Chubb felt it needed to move faster, both in its product development and in the way it responded to questions and issues field representatives had. Chubb integrated multiple social media tools into a social business platform that has improved response time. It also has held more than 50 online innovation gatherings, yielding several successful new businesses.

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Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn

How Cisco’s Learning Network Became a Social Hub for the IT Industry

Five years ago Cisco created its digital social educational platform, Learning@Cisco, which today has over 2 million global participants. People in IT sector go to the site to get Cisco certifications, to find industry jobs, for tips on finding work and to share information. This network has helped Cisco grow its industry, create loyalty to the company, recruit and become a key source for strategic marketing information.

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GE’s Colab Brings Good Things to the Company

Ron Utterbeck, the CIO for GE Corporate and the Advanced Manufacturing Software Technology Center in Michigan was vital in getting GE to implement its social network. The Facebook-like network built in-house is called GE Colab and links up the firm’s 115,000 employees from around the globe. The network has been breaking down corporate silos, helping problems get solved quicker, aiding employees better find internal experts, and making it easier to share files and documents in a meaningful context.

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When Social Networks and Analytics Intersect

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Does large amounts of data equal large amounts of new knowledge? Sometimes it does. Applying analytics techniques to social network data reveals new things about how people make decisions, say two Facebook researchers. There are also advantages that come from the ability to more quickly find patterns in data than was previously possible, says a scientist at Microsoft Research. But the CEO of Personal.com predicts that many companies will find that data analysis is not a core skill.

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Nilofer Merchant

How Social Tools Can Help Your Company Avoid Strategic Failure

Although most companies think “social media” when they hear the word social, author, consultant and business executive Nilofer Merchant says firms need to expand their understanding, and think about the transformative ways social tools change how an enterprise operates. Among the fundamental ways social technologies alter companies include removing bottlenecks in decision making, freeing work from jobs; leveraging customers as co-creators; and getting customers to engage around a shared value.

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The Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize

The editors of MIT Sloan Management Review are pleased to announce the winners of this year’s Richard Beckhard Memorial Prize, awarded to the authors of the most outstanding MIT SMR article on planned change and organizational development published from fall 2010 to summer 2011.

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How IBM Builds Vibrant Social Communities

“I see IBM as a social business,” says Jeff Schick, IBM’s vice president of social software for IBM. “We’ve broken down the barriers of reaching out to the people within the organization” — not to mention partners and clients as well. And the company is making it easier for its client companies to do the same thing.

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