Social Business: Should Leaders Stand Back or Jump in?
|Subscribe to receive updates when new Debates are released:|
|Receive emails | RSS (What is RSS?)|
Social business may be ready for the enterprise, but are enterprise leaders ready for social business?
Deloitte and MIT Sloan Management Review surveyed more than 3,400 enterprise leaders and managers around the globe to learn whether social networking and software are transforming their businesses. We found that many respondents use social technologies to better understand and connect with their customers. Others use social business tools to push employee interests, ideas and knowledge across the enterprise.
While 52 percent of the survey respondents said social business is at least somewhat important to their enterprises today, many leaders of organizations have not joined the trend. Are they wise to hold back? Or should they get started now?
Explore all sides below by clicking on each button:
|Wait and see.
Many companies have invested a lot of time and money on social technologies without significant results. We’ll wait until a demonstrated business case emerges for our industry.
|Start now, but start smart.
Leaders who hold back now could have a hard time catching up later. Start by thinking through how social business can support the business strategy and focus efforts there.
|It’s a big distraction.
Social business is a big, expensive diversion from time-tested communication channels. We’ve built a strong market presence with traditional customer research and advertising – there’s no reason to jump ship. As for employee communication and collaboration, email works just fine.
|It enhances the business.
Social business can provide deeper insight into what employees and customers say about companies and products, which can complement more traditional channels
|Our plates are full.
Executives don’t have time to participate in collaborative forums. They can’t even keep up with their emails. How do you expect them to find time to read and comment on a social network?
|Social business can be a leadership tool.
Some business leaders use social business software as a tool to generate innovative ideas from employees, gain feedback and build a more collaborative culture.
|It’s too risky. We’d lose control.
Social business networks don’t have a role in our workplace. The potential threat of viruses and data leakage is just too great. And, in any case, how can you control what employees may say in a public forum?
|It’s risky to not do anything.
Some employees may already be talking about their work in their social networks – and your competitors may be listening. A broad social business plan should incorporate training, data security and controls that allow you to participate in conversations, rather than ignore them.
Doug Palmer, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP
Enterprise leaders are just beginning to embrace social business, and the survey indicates that many are enthusiastic about its value – especially in the media and technology industries. While others are cautious, more than 80 percent of survey respondents acknowledge that social business is likely to be at least somewhat important to their organization three years from now. If that’s the case, it’s important that leaders get to work now. Here’s how you can get started:
Align social business to strategy. How can social technologies and networks help you better serve customers, gain a competitive edge and achieve the business strategy? Design social business initiatives that directly support your business goals, but don’t expect an immediate return on investment. You should look to continually pilot new projects, measure results and adapt strategies to build the business case.
Assess where you are today – and where you want to be. Monitor and track what your employees, consumers and influencers say about your organization, brands, customer service and competition. Explore how business analytics can connect social data with enterprise data. This can help your organization move beyond understanding to influencing and anticipating behaviors.
Support effective adoption. Provide clear guidelines and training for employees so they know what they can and cannot say through external social media channels. Executives should also be trained on social technologies to help them more effectively sponsor social initiatives and use social tools to shape the organization’s culture to promote innovation and collaboration.
Prepare to act. Social conversations are likely to reveal brand, product and employee issues. Provide processes and resources for appropriate and quick responses.
For more insights, download the full survey report here.
As used in this document, “Deloitte” means Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Please see www.deloitte.com/us/about for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.