So many business executives inadequately equate the concept of social business transformation with the use of social media. Social collaboration is not just about social media, tools, lean processes and management methodologies. Social collaboration is a mindset that leverages culture, people, process and lastly technology to unlock the full potential of the organization.
It may be surprising to you that I list technology as the least significant element for a successful social business transformation, but I strongly believe that it's not the tools or usage that matter; it's the social ethos of your business.
Prior to developing social media and technological know-how, you also need to adopt transparency in your business, position key people into place, establish a vibrant culture, implement streamlined lean processes, flatten reporting structures, and focus on delighting customers at the speed of need.
Social is a mindset. The social mindset's ultimate goals are business agility and customer delight. To stay relevant, business leaders must learn strategies, techniques and social collaboration methodologies relevant to the modern day enterprise -- they must figure out how to discover stakeholder value, and provide bottom-line business results.
The social mindset does not lead with technology because delighting customers is not a technology thing -- it's a people thing.
Customer Driven Collaboration
At our company we often use the words collaboration and social interchangeably. Social is not just about social media; we like to think of social as collaboration that is driven by a purpose. For us, the purpose is that there's nothing more important than our customers. We figured out very early on that if you can't deliver excellence to your internal customers, you will be unable to deliver excellence to your external customers.
For example: your sales organization is a customer to your service organization, your engineering organization is a customer to your sales organization, and your marketing organization is a customer to your sales operation.
A modern enterprise must have different lines of business working collaboratively under one roof. Thus it is important to creating a transparent, collaborative ecosystem, which knows and appreciates the fact that no one of us is as smart as all of us.
Social business leaders view various disciplines and functions in a collaborative organization not as departments, but rather integrated processes. In a social business, customer service and support is not viewed as a department, but rather as a process where every stakeholder -- meaning every employee -- is empowered to delight the customer.
When all of your internal departments respect each other and strive to win together, you are on the right track. You can fail alone, but in order to win, you need to work together. It is the collaborative bond, united by the common purpose of delighting customers, which fuels company success.