In fact, the actual term “social business” as a specific topic of conversation may never reach the same volume as “social media” or even come remotely close. But the truth is that conversations related to social business are happening all the time. Doing a quick search of #socialbiz hashtag in Twitter clearly shows that IBM owns the conversation – with several IBM employees tweeting about technology, collaboration, leadership, etc. It’s safe to assume that IBM is truly a social business.
I have always been a firm believer that an organization cannot have effective external conversations with the social customer unless they can have effective internal conversations with each other first. And internal communication means more than just a few weekly conference calls and perhaps deploying Jive applications internally to facilitate collaboration.
A true social business requires a change in behavior. It requires organizational leadership to embrace the social customer, tear down organizational silos, empower the organization to share knowledge across job functions and geographies, and invest in technology that will help facilitate collaboration and knowledge sharing. It’s more than lip service too. These change management initiatives have to be driven by organizational leadership and practiced at every level in the organization from senior leadership all the way down to a customer support agent. Otherwise, change will not occur. This means that executives must not only talk about changing the organization but exemplify the behaviors that really do facilitate and practice change.
I could not agree more – not only, because Michael Brito takes IBM as an exmaple of a Social Business. I do agree, because he gets the point that you have to live social internally to do it externally. And it is about Change Management. And as Joachim Niemeier (who will facilitate a How to become a Social Business-workshop together with Peter Schuett and René Werth at the IBM Social Business JamCamp in October) stated in an excellent (German language) blog posting: It is a long term process.