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Leaps of Faith?

This is my second post covering the Social Meet-Up from this past week.
Apr | 15 | 2010

Apr | 15 | 2010

media_roundupI had the pleasure of going to the Social Media Meet-Up this week. This is my second post covering the event.

Jim Lavoie, Chief Executive Officer, Rite–Solutions

Phil’s note: I had a bit of a problem with some of the sentiments expressed, as you’ll see below.

  • Key in a knowledge economy: solving relationship puzzle
  • We live in a social world, expect when we conduct business.
  • In military model, hierarchy reigned supreme.
  • Change from command and control; less about “do what I say” and more about “what should we do.”
  • Organizations need to do more than provide a paycheck; employees need to feel a sense of purpose.
  • Old management tips (read: treating people decently) is still key.
  • Five new competencies: honesty, parity, “humbition”, transparency, appreciate the power of relevance
  • survival, safety and security, socially suited, suitable stroked, relevant
  • Younger folks want to be relevant even if they don’t know the problem.
  • Is technology helping us or getting away? Technology is an enabler but too much is a hard sale. “No matter what technology you pick, it will be wrong.”

Phil’s note: Maybe Jim should read my new book. 🙂

Francois Gossieaux, author of the forthcoming book The Hyper-Social Organization.

Phil’s note: Interesting topics and I’ll have to check out Francois’ book.

  • As companies became big, they became less social.
  • SM provides us with a massive platform for participation.
  • Reciprocity is a reflex
  • Social and market contracts; tapping only the second has its limitations.
  • Think tribes, not market segments
    • e.g., women-owned small businesses
    • find the leaders of these tribes
  • Think knowledge network, not information channel
    • 60% of all buying decisions are taking place sans information about the company (source: McKinsey)
    • Content has to travel through knowledge networks
  • Think human-centricity, not product- or company-centricity
  • Think emergent messiness, not hierarchical fixed processes
    • Use existing hierarchies to handle “messiness.”
  • Successful companies turn all business processes into social ones
    • They don’t just run “traditional” programs in social media
    • Example: product development
    • Why? – scale, increased quality, increased passion, increased word of mouth (WOM)
    • Only example not found – “social” financing.
  • Customer acquired through WOM is likely to have twice the value to organizations than those acquired through traditional marketing means.
  • Many companies stay in “permanent pilot” states
  • There’s an enhanced need for cross-functional teams; things don’t fall neatly into only one category anymore.
  • Intuit has a center for excellence paid based on results by each department.

Greg Matthews, Director of Consumer Innovation at Humana

Phil’s note: This guy is wicked smart and he had one of the best responses from the group of all the speakers. I only wish that all speakers watched this very dynamic guy.

  • The social enterprise hasn’t been created yet, but we are moving in that direction.
  • We’re not going to make people come to us; we will go to them.
  • New demands
    • Control reality
    • Information security
    • Workforce culture
    • Intellectual property
  • It’s not about forming committees, building websites, establishing a charter, etc.
  • Humana used Twitter for customer service pilot for the last three months, trying to get tweets into the regular customer service queue.
  • Created social media policy at Humana via crowdsourcing; ratified by executive committee.
  • Next step, possible business development
  • Moving towards quantification, better business decisions
  • Using geo-tools to improve social media usage/understanding
  • Measuring who knows what about what will enable better employee productivity; structure organization around the real way that work gets done.
  • There are many different ways to engage people; some are less obtrusive than others.
  • How do we connect with healthy behaviors? Don’t just focus on sick people.
  • They looked at fitness communities; they didn’t bill their own. Twit2Fit (an existing Ning network) served their needs and had an established user base.

Phil’s note – this is a key point. Sometimes, you don’t need to reinvent the wheel.

  • Would using an elite athlete increase the engagement? Humana used a professional runner. Answer to question: Yes, by over 300%. Small experiments have shown promise.
  • Key point: Humana did not even mention that they were behind this to the general public. Again, it’s critical to use subtle ways to promote/marketing.
  • Social gaming is huge, as many have noted. Leverage the power of the social interaction. Which group of kids will walk around the world first? This game has actually turned into a revenue-generating product.
  • Mobility is also enormous for social media/networking.
  • The biggest contribution that Humana has made is getting out of the way.
  • They have some basic measurements but they’re essentially statistics at this point. True “drivers of effectiveness” aren’t really available yet.
  • Business ownership is essential.
  • He had to focus this on a full-time basis; it wouldn’t have worked “in his spare time.”
  • Executive sponsorship is not necessarily required; at a minimum, though, they can’t oppose it.
    • Business unit leadership may be enough at least to start.
  • Find the people internally with a passion is critical; it makes up for different deficiencies.
  • They have used Yammer for internal communication; if execs don’t like the fact that Yammer is the tool of choice, then they are forced to introduce alternatives with comparable functionality.
  • Legal team has to take a bit of a leap of faith; long-term value must exceed short-term risk.

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1 Comment

  1. Lisa Valentine

    I’d just like to share this with any of your readers whose company/workplace is threatening to block access to social media apps on the enterprise network. There’s a helpful whitepaper called “To Block or Not. Is that the question?”

    It has lots of insightful and useful information about identifying and controlling Enterprise 2.0 apps (Facebook, Twitter, Skype, SharePoint, etc.)

    Might be worth sharing this with the IT dept.


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