As many enterprise companies today begin to demonstrate “social business” behaviors, they will start experiencing various levels of culture change with the people of the organization, process and technology. The following are 15 indicators of social business transformation. It’s important to realize that while some of these behaviors are dependent on each other, they are mutually exclusive and not necessarily in chronological order.


1. Organizational leadership begins to mandate that internal teams collaborate across functional business units, geographies, product organizations and channel partners

2. CEO and/or executive teams use social technologies to communicate externally and encourage employees to do the same

3. Social Media “Center of Excellence” teams evolve from just “committees” and become a reporting part of the organization

4. Global/functional teams share best practices frequently; organizational silos become nonexistent

5. Social behaviors become engrained in the everyday fabric of employees’ workflow and process

6. Social business becomes a consistent line item in marketing, operations and IT budgets

7. Human Resources adds “social media” in job descriptions and employees are held accountable to engage externally

Editor's Note: For more guidance on Social Business, check out Michael's  upcoming book: Smart Business, Social Business.


8. Governance models are created, published and shared across the organization i.e., process for new employees to be trained to be social media practitioners, escalation models

9. Social Media Policies and guidelines are co-created by senior management and employees

Learning Opportunities

10. A consistent social media measurement framework is agreed upon and used to measure both internal and external social initiatives

11. Workflows are created that collect external customer feedback and filtered back to the product organizations


12. Internal communities and collaboration systems are deployed and being used across functional business units -- sales, marketing, customer support, supply chain management

13. Collaboration is happening more within internal communities than in email

14. Social CRM capabilities, applications and systems become a priority in management and deployment

15. IT loosens up firewall restrictions (bandwidth, IP blocking)of social media usage from behind the firewall

Start Assessing Your Own Organization

Every company is different and will experience this change in different ways and at different times.These indicators will help business leaders assess their own organizations and start thinking about humanizing their operations in order to more effectively engage with the social customer.

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