Social Business Adoption

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The Paradox of Leading a Social Business

Among the findings of the MIT SMR and Deloitte 2014 report: as companies begin to reach maturity in social business processes, many of them are finding that traditional management practices are being replaced by a new kind of leadership. In a social business environment, communication practices between customers, employees, and managers are greatly altered — and the way management responds must change, too.

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An Audio Summary of “Moving Beyond Marketing”

An audio briefing by Gerald C. Kane, co-author of the 2014 social business research report by MIT Sloan Management Review and Deloitte. The report indicates that that measurement sophistication is finally taking hold in social business. More than 90% of “socially maturing” companies actively measure their social business efforts. The authors explain why C-suite leadership is crucial to reaping value from social business.

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The American Red Cross: Adding Digital Volunteers to Its Ranks

The American Red Cross has become an excellent example of how to use social media to connect people during the three cycles of disaster: preparedness, response and then recovery. Its digital volunteers help calm people in the middle of events, and its community mobilizers help coordinate services afterwards. “We want to blur that line about who’s a Red Crosser and who’s not, to say, ‘actually, this is up to all of us,’” says the organization’s Wendy Harman.

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Audi Puts Its Future Into High (Tech) Gear

Cars have made the transition from offline to fully networked, which makes them social vehicles, able to communicate about traffic patterns and weather. The next decade will see cars integrate more fully into consumers’ lives, says Audi’s Ricky Hudi, head of electronics at the fast-growing unit of Volkswagen. The goal for the industry: making upgradable cars, so that cars will no longer lag years behind consumer technology trends.

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Reimagining Customer Service at KLM Using Facebook and Twitter

For KLM, social business arose as a spontaneous response to the Icelandic volcanic eruption that spewed ash into Europe’s airspace for days, halting all air travel and stranding thousands of passengers. Since the abrupt birth of the airlines’ social business strategy, e-commerce senior vice president Martijn van der Zee has made the company a model for using social in customer service.

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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.

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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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