As discussed in Part one of this post last week, until recently the typical value proposition for social business was on the customer engagement and marketing side of the business. This clearly has been, and will continue to be, a core area of social business strategy and value generation.
What is more exciting is the newer concept of applying social business to build trust, and effectiveness within the organization, across traditional structural and cultural boundaries, and across task contexts. As IBM’s second two bullet points illustrate. [IBM at Lotusphere identified three “top” entry points into social business:
- Customer Service/Marketing
- Product or Service Development/Operational Effectiveness
- [Operations/] Human Resources (Operations was omitted from several of the presentations)]
Traditional organizational practices create defined and hierarchical communications paths. Social Business recognizes that while these traditional communication and collaboration channels may provide structure, and reduce information and communication overload, they are too slow, filter out important information, and do not allow the right information to get to the right person.
Because all businesses are social enterprises, impediments to communication must be removed, people must be empowered to get the information they need, when they need it, and be alerted to changes in the project environment from which they must learn. Further, relevant communications should not stop at traditional organizational boundaries. Where appropriate,communications should be extended across intra- and inter-organizational walls, to access needed expertise, gather and share information, and to engage the wider social fabric of the organization.
New Product Development is a clear example of a corporate initiative that calls for collaborative interaction, but fundamentally NPD is a project-based effort, and therefore IBMs bullet points can be generalized to all projects, as can operations, part of the third bullet point. (I didn’t attend a session where the HR aspects were addressed clearly, but I assume that they are describing general employee engagement via internal social business)
So in the last two bullet points, IBM is clearly advocating the use of social business to drive project efficiency, innovation, and effectiveness, which we believe to be the new killer app of social business – Social Project Management.
We will shift our focus to Social Project Management specifically in our next post.