Tuesday, 7 February 2012

#E20S Developing social strategy 1


   In my last post, I raised concerns about Euan Semple’s reluctance to define a strategy for social media use.  Whilst I understand Euan’s wish to help organisations become less formal, which I support, I whilst I understand the role of emergence, I just believe social is too important to be left to chance.

My views about social are actually a lot closer to those that Rawn Shah from IBM covered at Europe’s Enterprise 2.0 Summit this morning.


1.   Organisations need to understand what the value creation from social technology will be (ideally, in my view, the need for value would drive the use of the technology rather than the other way around).  Eg:

  • Radically innovate models markets products
  • Leverage collective intelligence
  • Innovate through partnerships
  • Cultivate networks and communities of expertise


2.  Social conversations need to be structured to support this so that people know what they need to do (this is my key argument against Euan’s perspective).

In Rawn’s view, the journey is from lower to higher value (I don’t agree that there is one journey, or if there is, that these are the order to value):

  • Capture unstructured data
  • Collaboration and discovery
  • Insight (attention, pattern recognition, semantic research)
  • Transformation – which Rawn sees as embedding social within business processes (supporting process exceptions and avoiding process frustrations).


3.   This needs to be adapted for each line of business as these have slightly different needs (yes).  Eg HR will focus on:

  • Mobilising speed and agility
  • Retaining expertise within the company
  • Improving recruiting and training
  • Creating a culture of sharing.


4.   You then need to develop strategies and execute actions to support this, for example, in the area of HR / workforce optimisation:




Yves Caseau from Bouygues Telecom also came back to the point on business processes, questioning whether we still need them in the new social world and concluding that we do, at least for larger teams (1000 people) in order to support efficiency and execution.  This isn’t necessarily about lots of procedures as the real key to process management is role autonomy:




One of the speakers in a later session (apologies, can’t find my notes) suggested that perhaps processes are less important than this – users know what the business processes are – they don’t need to be told how they work – they just need the tools to be more efficient.

I’m not convinced we do need processes either – but for a different reason.  I think their role is being progressively taken on by networks and communities.  And I certainly don’t see them as being at the heart of transformation.  Processes can take you so far, but you need a supporting culture too – so that people behave a certain way when executing processes, but they behave the same way the rest of the time as well.

Still, a very insightful and entertaining start to the day…


(Note, I’ve got another post on adoption, and one on HR 2.0 (on Strategic HCM) coming up later.



  • Consulting  - Research - Speaking  -  Training -  Writing
  • Strategy   -  Team development  -  Web 2.0  -  Change
  • Contact  me to  create  more  value  for  your  business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] social [dash] advantage [dot] com


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please add your comment here (email me your comments if you have trouble and I'll put them up for you)