Saturday, 7 May 2011

Perfect business cases for Social Business

Thanks to Oscar Berg for writing his No business case for Social Business

It's a good post and all true, although very few social media fans agreed with it - probably because it doesn't give them what they want.
As dark is the opposite of light, bad the opposite of good, and so on, I decided to write an opposite post, reversing all of Oscar's well made points. In theory, that should to perfect business cases for Social Business, shouldn't it?
Off we go - and thank you, Oscar

If a business can check all or most of the items on the checklist below, then there is probably a perfect business case for social business. It can engage in business as unusual

  1. The lifespan of its products is limited to a few years, possibly even months. Products have to be greatly improved or changed fairly often
  2. Customers have many alternatives to choose from. Low-cost alternatives with the same or similar benefits emerge all the time all over the place
  3. Complete lack of tradition is the most important reason why customers stick to the brand - it is sexy, shiny, fresh
  4. The buying decisions of customers are hardly influenced by the marketing efforts or what other people in their close proximity think of a specific product. Instead, they are connected to and influenced by other customers than those who can be found among their neighbors, family and friends in close proximity, or colleagues at the same unit or location
  5. It is easy for other businesses to copy the products as well as the processes which are required to produce and sell the products
  6. Only a small minority of the workforce is doing highly repeatable and formalized industrial work - the vast part is handling barely repeatable people processes
  7. How work is done changes often. Interruptions and failures which require speedy problem solving happen all the time
  8. Employees aren't motivated by having a work to go to - their joy is in helping people and achieving results every single day. Their employers can hardly replace them with someone else, and if so that usually is at a higher level of compensation
  9. Processes and routines differ greatly everywhere with very many local variations. They couldn't possibly be implemented in the exact same way across locations and units
  10. The business environment is dynamic and heterogeneous, preventing top management from defining, planning and implementing all decisions in a one-size-fits-all manner across the enterprise
  11. Strategies as well as local execution can't be defined and commanded top down - these are highly diverse
  12. Very little, if any, of the know-how required to do the job can be obtained via formal training, reading instructions and peer-to-peer (master-apprentice) knowledge transfer at the same location. The need for continuous and individual-driven informal learning is continuous
  13. Whenever new knowledge is gained somewhere inside or outside the organization, there is very little time to formalize it and share it across top-down with the use of formal training and simple updates of instructions. Extensive peer-to-peer guidance and review is needed throughout
  14. There is a huge pressure from the business environment forcing the organization to optimize its use of resources across locations with the use of specialization and collaboration
  15. There are countless external parties involved in the enterprise and the relationships and collaborations that exist are volatile and dynamic, very complex and have existed for a relatively short time

Do these criteria apply to your business or your customers'? Go social business

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