The vague terms “Enterprise 2.0″ and “Social CRM” express a collaboration-centric view of business and work relationships that de-emphasizes traditional command and control boundaries in favor of engaging community.
Inside the enterprise, this philosophy promises the opportunity for workers to pool and share knowledge in exciting new ways, using technologies such as blogs and wikis. Similarly, Web-based software such as YouTube and Twitter let consumers band together, sometimes quite unexpectedly, to form massive, ad hoc influence groups.
These changes hold profound implications for the expression of IT-related problems, which become something quite different from the project-related failure we’ve come to know and love (or hate).
Listening to Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive officer of Amazon, is like going to startup school where you learn that failure is part of entrepreneurial growth. Whenever I have talked to Bezos in the past, the things that have stuck in my head have been his willingness to be wrong and his unflinching abhorrence of the status quo. At the Wired Business Conference in New York City, Bezos reiterated some of those points in a conversation with writer Steven Levy.
“You need a culture that high-fives small and innovative ideas and senior executives [that] encourage ideas,” he said. In order for innovative ideas to bear fruit, companies need to be willing to “wait for 5-7 years, and most companies don’t take that time horizon.”
His tip on managing during tough times such as those faced by Amazon during the bust was to communicate more with its employees
Bezos listed a few prerequisites for innovation and inventing, but the biggest one is willingness to fail. You need to think for the long term and be misunderstood for a long period of time. “If you can’t do those things, then you need to limit yourself to sustainable innovation.” In other words, seek incremental change to grow your business.
People overemphasize their failures when trying something new. Actually failure is not that expensive and it’s part of work
Productivity and Time Wasters in Social Media
We all want to be more productive and know that where we’re spending our time is worthwhile. I’m asked this question a lot and I see it of others, so I wanted to discuss, in specifics, some of my most productive activities in social media, and some of the biggest time wasters I encounter (and avoid wherever I can).
First, it’s probably helpful for me to articulate my goals for social media participation. Mine might be different than yours, so you need to bear that in mind when reading this. I’m looking at these tasks and activities through this specific lens.
Its role will be smaller and its advantage diminished, suggests Michael Schrage, a research fellow at the Center for Digital Business at the Sloan School of Management at M.I.T. The idea-production process, according to Mr. Schrage, will continue to shift away from the centralized model epitomized by large corporate labs, going from “proprietary innovation to populist innovation.”
Ideas Don’t Equal Innovation » and I can prove it…It is my hope that today’s post will serve to help dispel the myth that ideas are inherently good things. Let me state right from the outset that I place little value on ideas. Not only do raw ideas have little intrinsic value, but they are often very costly. While I stipulate to the fact that ideas can sometimes lead to great things, I also submit that it is more frequently the case that ideas lead to disappointment and disaster
The idea should be generated within a solid framework for decisioning. It should be developed as a solution to a problem or to exploit an opportunity. The idea should be in alignment with the overall vision and mission of the enterprise.
Adopting a new idea should be based upon solid business logic that drives corresponding financial engineering and modeling. Be careful of high level, pie-in-the-sky projections.
Ideas need to be incorporated into strategic initiatives and not constitute disparate systems. They should be incorporated into integrated solutions that eliminate redundancies, and build in tactical leverage points.
For its part, Social CRM paints a vision of creating a deeper and more engaging community-based relationship with your customers, instead of the traditional approach of managing them, in a very Cluetrain Manifesto way. Part online community, part crowdsourcing, part customer service, Social CRM can create an emergent, collaborative online partnership with customers that can result in an array of improvements to business performance.
Customers must be able to create an identity and perceive other customers, as well as individual workers, and be able to interact with both types of parties in a Social CRM environment.
Social CRM becomes more strategic when there are participation mechanisms that are driven by the specific needs of the organization or its customers. These might include social customer support, competitive contests, innovation/prediction markets, or joint product design, perhaps with finely tuned controls (such as Kluster).
Good Social CRM tools will make sure that the directed activities of a Social CRM environment are accumulated, discoverable, and reusable.
However, the biggest issues in adopting Social CRM is not the technology, not the tools, and certainly not the customer. It’s changing the mindset about what CRM is all about
The point Gary Hamel drives home is that our business and economic environment has irrevocably shifted toward higher volatility and accelerated change. The sundering of companies from healthy industry positions to crisis mode in relatively short order demonstrates the need for updating management philosophies.
Adaptability is a critical strategy. It means that companies pivot as they learn new information about their markets, competitors and changes in customer behaviors. As noted in a recent Wall Street Journal article noted, companies can try more ideas faster and less expensively than ever:
A low-level web of constant relationships, circular, cellular systems where shared, collaborative contributions are the norm, is developing. Here, the value resides with relationships, not transactions. Maybe, instead of buying and selling more and more in a mad race for grabbing the most growth, the future will be about a collaborative, community-oriented regenerative growth model.
The numbers are huge: 400,000 global users in 6,000+ locations around world, all working within a 100% web interface available in 20 languages (your user interface language is defined by your sign in permissions). The system gets over 25 million web hits a day, greater than employee usage of Google and Yahoo combined. Users have created over 50,000 communities with over 100,000 experts signed up to answer questions and manage information; experts are GE workers with full-time jobs who use the system because it helps them do their job better.
Thousands of business processes have already been digitized in an internal world where knowledge and work processes are critical. Everything is behind the firewall except for ‘pinholes’ to external destinations which allow external vendors, suppliers and customers to collaborate on specific projects . There are 30,000 external users who come in through the firewall pinholes to participate in specific communities.
“The first key characteristic of the emergent approach is best summarised as ‘architect the lines, not the boxes’, which means managing the connections between different parts of the business rather than the actual parts of the business themselves,” said Bruce Robertson, research vice president at Gartner. “The second key characteristic is that it models all relationships as interactions via some set of interfaces, which can be completely informal and manual – for example, sending handwritten invitations to a party via postal letters – to highly formal and automated, such as credit-card transactions across the Visa network.”