Social Business Adoption

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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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On the Evolution of “Social Business”

Social business means different things to different people. Some see it as business-oriented collaboration. Others, as a way of mobilizing people to do good. Still others dismiss it as “goofing off” or wasting time. However you look at it, social has the capacity to radically alter how business is done — whether it’s for-profit business or more altruistic ventures, or (as is the case with a growing number of companies) a little of both.

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Walking the Legal Tightrope of Social Business

Social business is a rapidly expanding phenomenon, creating situations not foreseen by our current legal system. Should managers friend employees on Facebook or connect with them on LinkedIn? What are the legal implications of making these connections — or not? In many ways, social business puts managers in a “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” dilemma, but managers cannot afford to ignore the legal implications of social business.

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Social Business Research Study Launched

MIT SMR has launched its 3rd annual global study on social business, exploring how social technologies and social data are changing company operations and corporate behavior. Now we need readers’ help. Please tell us how social business is evolving in your company via the short survey we’ve designed. The survey will take about 10 minutes of your time. It will help us to continue our inquiry into how social business is influencing the practice of management.

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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.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Torley.
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Can Social Business Make Employees Happier?

Social business can breed contentment among employees — but it doesn’t happen automatically. As the 2013 social business report from MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte notes: “Businesses that are making the greatest progress toward becoming a socially connected enterprise focus rigorously on four interrelated areas: leading a social culture, measuring what matters, keeping content fresh and changing the way work gets done.”

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Social Business: Flat or Hierarchical? A Surprising Answer

The most effective social businesses of the future may start to look more like organizations that long predate modern corporations — so-called “loosely coupled” organizations such as military, education and religious institutions.

These organizations remain deeply hierarchical, argues Gerald C. Kane, but these hierarchies operate differently than modern corporations, pushing decision-making capabilities down to people who can better deal with conditions on the ground.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Mayo Clinic.
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Mayo Clinic Leads Social Conversations About Healthcare

The Mayo Clinic has been able to leverage and enhance its reputation as a trusted source of health information through a robust online presence and expansive social media program. Through its YouTube channel, Twitter feed, and Facebook page, it brings health information to hundreds of thousands of consumers. The Mayo Clinic Center for Social Media coordinates and focuses the Clinic’s various social media initiatives and programs.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Lil Larkie.
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Procedural Versus Strategic Approaches to Social Media

Is your company’s social media team grounded in the culture of your organization? Younger employees often have a procedural understanding of social media tools but need strategic vision, argues Boston College’s Jerry Kane. The most effective social media initiatives may be partnerships between younger employees experimenting with social media technologies while more experienced employees harness their enthusiasm and ideas to give them strategic direction.

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Social Business: Shifting Out of First Gear

A 2013 research report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte shows the growing importance of social business to solving many corporate challenges. Seventy percent of survey respondents agree that social business is an opportunity to fundamentally change the way their organization works. The authors explain why some businesses are reaping value from social business, and what is holding others back.

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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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Social Business Is Fast Gaining Ground Across All Industries

In the second annual survey from the MIT and Deloitte Social Business Global Executive Study and Research Project, businesspersons from 12 industries were asked if social business was “important to their organization today.” Respondents from all industries reported an increase in importance from the previous year. The energy and utilities industry had the biggest year to year increase, while the technology/media/telecommunications sector rated social business as highest in importance for both years.

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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.

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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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The Emergence of Chief Digital Officers

The emergence of social media in business, along with related digital initiatives, is causing more organizations to appoint a chief digital officer, or CDO in the C-suite. While the position was initially found in media, education, and retail, an increasing number of industries of all types are considering the position to consolidate and focus its social and other digital activities. Many feel that the CDO needs to report directly to the CIO, but that reporting relationship may not fit all cases.

Dr Ed Tucker, VP Janssen Research & Development, a Johnson & Johnson company

How Pharmaceuticals Can Avoid the Side Effects of Social Media

In a highly regulated area like pharmaceuticals, companies need to tread carefully when it comes to dealing directly with customers via social media. In this interview, Dr. Ed Tucker of Janssen Research & Development LLC, a Johnson and Johnson company, explains how social media platforms offer benefits, but also describes the requirements and obligations firms in his industry must comply with when it comes to patient safety reporting, privacy, and other sensitive matters.

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Get Social: A Mandate for New CEOs

New CEOs need to quickly establish themselves and communicate their vision. Traditionally, CEOs communicate through e-mail, memos and Q&As. They walk halls, attend meetings and issue press releases. In many cases, social media is a more effective and efficient way to communicate with a wide range of stakeholders. Social media has already become a state-of-the-art leadership tool that surpasses many traditional approaches to listening and communicating with stakeholders.

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CFOs’ Anti-Social Tendencies may be Changing

Research from the MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte showed that only 13.5% of CFOs support social business. There are logical reasons why this may be so, such as the need for this profession to scrutinize costs, look for ROI, and an uncertain benefit for the CFO function. However some in the profession are urging CFOs to be more open and see the financial payoff of a social business. Recent data shows that the reluctance among CFOs to support social business may be declining.

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What Do Senior Managers Really Want to Know About Social Media?

A study by the Conference Board and the Rock Center for Corporate Governance at Stanford University analyzed social media usage by senior executives and board members. Its findings offer insights as to why senior staff bring in a consultant or expert to educate staff. A total of 32% of those surveyed said they had done so and explained the reasons why. Many did so to learn about LinkedIn; others wanted to learn about using social media for promotion, developing rules, communication and more.

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