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1 Roland Hameeteman commented Permalink

image By Jacques Pavlenyi
Market Segment Manager - IBM Collaboration Solutions

The impact of IT and collaboration on business models and behavior continues to gain momentum. As we move from "Web 2.0" to "Enterprise 2.0" to "social media for business" to "social business", the impact of social technologies on the way we live and work only deepens. Early conversations tended to be more about the qualitative vision of what technology could do, as there weren't enough quantitative examples of real business processes or day-to-day work that experienced measurable improvements.


More recently, the focus has shifted much more to measurable business outcomes. Certainly a great deal of Lotusphere 2012, and the primary focus of Connect 2012, was about articulating the significant business benefits from a social business transformation. From stronger customer engagement, to workforce optimization, to product and service innovation, there is now irrefutable proof that becoming a social business can create real shareholder value and competitive differentiation.


But this evolved discussion has led to some new, hard questions around social business adoption. As Bridget van Kralingen, Senior Vice President, Global Business Services, spoke about in the IBM Connect opening keynote, social business is going to engender some of the deepest, most profound changes to organizational culture and strategy we've seen in a long time. Which means that, as much as we've discussed how all employees -- not just Marketing, Sales or Customer Service -- are turning into public Brand Advocates, that only scratches the surface. True democratization and flattening of organizational structures will require wholesale changes in the way we work with one another. We need to think about these meaty, deep issues of change management, culture, behavior. These aren't "soft" people management issues - these go to the heart of your business strategy:

"Culture eats strategy for lunch." - Coffmann Organization, 2009.


As several of my colleagues and I were considering this latest shift, we saw an opportunity to help customers
understand these challenges. Hence was born our latest IBM Executive Brief: "Social Business Behavior: the changing nature of culture, etiquette and personal interaction in the workplace.". You can download this new report from ibm.com (free registration is required).


We decided to bring together a
cross-section of subject matters from across IBM, including from Software, Global Business Services, Business Transformation, Sales, and Marketing to synthesize this holistic
view of how culture and etiquette are impacted by these new social
collaboration tools. We even used social collaboration to create it: 



What was even more exciting to me beyond editing and contributing to the report, was that as we went along, the process of creating the content itself became social. We suddenly found ourselves questioning the established ways we were using for content creation:

  • What does collaborative content creation -- not just for this whitepaper, but for ANY document -- REALLY look like when it goes social? How will new tools like IBM Docs change that process even more?
  • How does the role of Editor change when you have multiple volunteer contributors?
  • How do you recognize individual contributions to the final product when no one person actually "owns" it?
In other words, the tried-and-true marketing content production process itself is being upended by social technologies. And as a result, the etiquette and behavior of us towards one another as contributors became very different than what it would have been just a few years ago. A small example, a very personal example, of the very concepts embodied in this new report. I and my co-authors encourage you to read it, share it (ibm.co/SocBizEtiquette) and continue the conversation here, in our Becoming a Social Business Community, or on Twitter (#ibmsocialbiz):
  • Is this culture and etiquette discussion valid? Deep? Fluffy?
  • What changes in interpersonal work behavior are you seeing?
  • How are those changes impacting your business strategy and organizational structures?

2 Evan Grant commented Permalink

3 Jacques Pavlenyi commented Permalink

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