Slides: How IBM Enables A Social Workforce

This week I have been attending WOMMA’s School of WOM in Chicago.  The conference started on Monday and wraps up today.  There have some great keynotes, workshops, and breakout sessions.  I’d estimate roughly that there are about 300 attendees.

On Monday, Susan Emerick of IBM (@sfemerick), Chris Boudreaux of Converseon (@cboudreaux) and I presented during a breakout.  Our presentation, “Enabling the Social Workforce” discussed how IBM has been able to enable thousands of employees to participate in social media.  At IBM, employees are such an extension of our brand and it is important that IBMers represent our brand in the social media.

Most businesses are finding it challenging to mobilize employees in social media on behalf of the brand.  For years prior to the social media explosion, IBM had focused on enabling IBMers to collaborate internally via collaboration tools.  As social media took off on the public Internet, IBM has, in turn, successfully enabled thousands of employees to participate in the social media conversation. 

The presentation (loaded on slideshare and then embedded below) discusses how IBM advances the goals of the business while growing the professional influence of the employee. The key to enablement for IBM is focusing on empowering the workforce to communicate their strategic expertise socially.  Our presentation and the Q&A session afterwards covered important program elements like

  • Developing the Digital Strategy Model
  • Publishing and Communicating Social Media Guidelines
  • Developing a Social Computing Curriculum that includes certification-based training
  • An Expertise Locator system that helps aid in the search and discovery of IBM experts
  • IBM’s Centennial Program that enables social conversations.

Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight

Last Wednesday evening I delivered a keynote presentation at an end of the year student event at the University of Notre Dame’s Mendozza College of Business MBA program (http://business.nd.edu/). 

Mendozza Keynote

The students are all required to take a class in Futures Studies and this was their end of year event.  During the late afternoon Poster Session that was held in the atrium of the Mendozza building, they all assembled and displayed posters that communicated the results of their semester long projects.  The topics covered a wide variety of subjects, from the future of Electric Cars to Solar Technology, to how to solve water irrigation in Africa.   In all there were over 50 projects from teams of 4-5 students.   I was impressed with the students projects and the level of research, analysis and insight generation that went into the poster presentations.   I learned a lot just by walking from poster to poster.

After the poster session was done, we all assembled into the auditorium where I delivered my keynote to the students “Leveraging Social Media and Communities for Foresight”.  The deck has been uploaded to my HorizonWatching account on Slideshare and is also embedded below. 

During the keynote, I discussed how the emergence of online social media and communities is transforming communication around the world.  The shift from traditional institutional-led communications that is relatively controlled by a small number of companies to an era where any individual can create and publish content is a shift that is transforming the way individuals learn, collaborate, and create content.   This has a ripple effect across all business professionals and certainly is impacting the way we research, analyze and develop insights about emerging trends, technologies and issues impacting businesses and individual citizens.

I provide the students with my personal story of how I’ve led an internal IBM community called HorizonWatch since early 2001 and how I started blogging internally in 2006.  I also discussed my public social community effort called HorizonWatching.   Both efforts have helped me do a better job of scanning for emerging trends and then developing insights from those scanning activities.

I ended the talk with some advice to the students on how they could get started leveraging social media in their own careers.  My main advice was that they should all think about taking control of their personal online brand.  As they are soon to turn their attention to job searching, now is the time for them to think hard about what their digital brand looks like to recruiters and potential employers.  But after the job search is over, I believe those who will be successful in their careers are the ones that will figure out ways to leverage social media and communities to build their expertise.

As this was their last day of class, they were all eager to go out and celebrate, so the Q&A session was short and sweet.  However the 5-6 questions raised were smart and right on topic.  I wish all the students good luck and best wishes over the summer and challenge them to begin using social media and communities as a strategy to better understand the future(s).

My presentation is embedded below.

Fourteen Social Media Disasters: Learning from the mistakes of others

Social media can work wonders for your brand, but it can also spell disaster.   A colleague recently asked me for a list of examples of where the wrong post or tweet has damaged a brand’s reputation.  I had a few examples on the top of my head, but thought I would do some extra research on the side to see what else I could find.

After some research, I produced a deck titled “Social Media 101: Social Media Disasters”.  I’ve loaded the deck to Slideshare and have embedded it here:

Examples of bad social media can be tracked back to a focus on social media governance by companies. 

  • Lack of real-time monitoring
  • Not responding to customer concerns
  • Lack of corporate social media policies
  • Employees not trained in company policies
  • Lack of professional Social Media managers
  • Too much focus on self-promotion (lack of relationship building)
  • Lack of due diligence before launching social campaigns

We can all learn from these mistakes.

  • Having a social media presence that represents your brand means responding quickly and directly.
  • You need to plan for the worst while expecting the best.
  • A professional and responsible manager should be in charge of all communication on the various sites and this person should be very well versed on the many risks of social media.
  • All employees are potential spokesmen for your brand. They (including executives) should be trained in the basics of good and bad social media communications.

There is a risk to participating in social media, just like there is a risk with any other channel or method used for external communications.  Smart companies acknowledge that risk, but have focused on limiting that risk by hiring professional social media managers on staff, putting in place proper social media guidelines, and ensuring that employee and management alike are trained in how to best represent the brand when participating in social media.

WOMMA School of WOM: The Art & Science of Creating Talkable Brands

SOW On May 9-11 the Word of Mouth Marketing Association (WOMMA) comes to my neck of the woods (Chicago).  The event is the “School of WOM:  The Art & Science of Creating Talkable Brands”.  You can check out the event and register at http://womma.org/schoolofwom/about.html

sow-speakerbadge-1 (2) I’m on the speaking agenda along with my colleague Susan Emerick (@sfemerick) and our friend and colleague, Chris Boudreaux and (@cboudreaux) SVP of Management Consulting, of IBM’s strategic partner, Converseon.  We will be speaking on May 9, Tuesday afternoon.  Our topic is entitled “IBM: Empowering Employees to Participate in Online Conversations.  We’ll discuss how we’ve developed an ongoing social listening and engagement process within IBM designed to enable IBM employees to become active in the social conversations happening everyday.  Hope to see you there.

The School of WOM event has a jam-packed schedule of presentations from brand names you all know, including:

  • IBM
  • Gap
  • Kellogg's
  • Nabisco
  • McDonald's
  • Chick-fil-A
  • SAP
  • Random House

You can check out the full agenda here http://womma.org/schoolofwom/faculty.html

It’s a very rich and full agenda.  I’m really looking forward to it!!

Thursday’s Chicago AMA Event – Social Media: Beyond the Chaos

Social Media Beyond the Chaos 2This Thursday, I am on the speaker list for a special event organized by the Chicago branch of the American Marketing Association.  And I’m looking forward to not only presenting, but meeting a bunch of new people who are interested in social media marketing.

There will be three other main speakers in addition to myself, all with 20 minute presentations about our experiences with social media marketing, whether in B2B or B2C.   After the presentations, we will have a panel Q&A discussion. 

I’ll be talking about two topics during my 20 minute slot.

  1. How IBM is approaching the development of a digital communications strategy that aligns with the IBM Brand.
  2. An overview of how we at IBM plan out social media marketing strategies.

I’ll post my slide deck up on Slideshare tomorrow at http://www.slideshare.net/HorizonWatching

The other speakers joining me are…

  • Blagica Bottigliero, Director of Social Media, Motorola Mobility
  • Troy Janisch, Social Media Manager, Digital Marketing, American Family Insurance
  • Jennifer Severns, Creative Director, Zocalo Group

You can read up on their bios at this site.

Here are the event details:

  • Event Name:  Social Media: Beyond the Chaos
  • Date of Event:  Thursday, March 31, 2011
  • Time:  Registration opens 3:30pm.  Presentations begin at 4pm.  At 6:30 we will close the presentations down, but people can stay up until 8pm for networking opportunities.
  • Event Location:  Alhambra Palace / Marrakech Room, 1240 W. Randolph Street, Chicago, IL
  • Registration:  If you have not registered, you may still be able to get a ‘ticket’ to the event although last I heard they were almost sold out. The registration website is http://www.chicagoama.org/events/social-media-beyond-chaos

For those of you wanting to follow along on Twitter, the hashtag will be #AMASocial.  If I don’t see you at the event, perhaps I’ll see you on Twitter!

You Are Invited To The Social Business Jam

Last week, I posted about the emergence of the Social Business term to represent the next stage in how companies are using social and collaboration technologies in order to conduct business.  My post “The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station Are You On It?” provides an overview of the trend and makes the case for why it is important.

As a follow-up, I wanted you to be aware of the Social Business Jam.  On February 8-11, 2011 IBM will host the Social Business Jam (www.ibm.com/social/businessjam).  Should you register, you will have the opportunity to collaborate with leading experts on topics such as:

  • Building the Social Business of the Future
  • Building Participatory Organizations Through Social Adoption
  • Using Social to Understand and Engage with Customers
  • What does Social mean for IT?
  • Identifying Risks and Establishing Governance

I will be jamming…along with some leading Social Business experts, including:

  • Charlene Li, Founder of Altimeter Group, Author of “Groundswell”
  • Mei Li Tan, CMO, Treasury & Trade Solutions, Citigroup
  • Steve Wylie, GM of Enterprise 2.0 Conference
  • Vittorio Cretella, CIO, Mars Inc.

Join me in the Jam.  Should be an interesting discussion.  It all starts February 8th, so register NOW!!!  www.ibm.com/social/businessjam

For those of you on Twitter, we’ll be using the hashtag #sbjam 

The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station: Are You On It?

Social Business I expect the Social Business topic to be among the most talked about trends in 2011…and all that buzz is justified.    In fact, the buzz will kickoff next week as IBM conducts it’s Social Business Jam February 8-11, 2011.  I’ll post more about the Jam next week, but for now, head on over to http://www-01.ibm.com/software/info/social_business_jam/ and register for the Jam. 

Social collaboration is changing the way business is being conducted. Enterprise processes are being transformed by social technologies. Over the next 10-15 years, social computing capability will becomes part of every business function within the company.  I fully expect that social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction. 

In the future, all participants involved in a company’s business processes and transactions will have the ability to share content, comment on content, rate/vote on content, and collaborate in an open and sharing environment.  In addition, all this social activity will generate data that will be mined and analyzed in both batch and in real-time.  The insights generated will be a critical input into all business processes, including research, product development, marketing, sales, technical support, and even business processes like accounting, procurement, and legal. 

Since social will eventually be embedded in every business process and transaction workflow, social computing capability will need to be a critical part of every business application.  As a result, I expect entire business application suites will be rewritten to make use of social collaboration features.

Analyst Perspectives

“The social business model is changing the way companies generate and conduct business online, and IDC believes that this model will have a long-lasting impact“ – IDC (link)

“Social Technologies Will Drive The Next Wave Of BPM Suites” – Forrester (link)

“Just as the Internet had a disruptive impact on organizations' processes and business models at the beginning of the decade, today social media is changing the way business is conducted”. – Gartner (Link)

“Business application vendors are integrating social features into their applications and the dividing lines between transactional tools and social environments are fading.” – Gartner (Link)

“To optimize investments, competencies, and outcome, it is essential that enterprises establish a shared understanding of social technologies and trends, coordinate strategies and initiatives, and leverage investments.“ – Gartner (Link)

Implications

  • This will require a cultural transformation within most older, established companies.
  • Business leaders must realize that 80% of success of social business efforts will come from strategy, planning, roles, and processes — only 20% will come from the technology platform.
  • The path to a Social Business requires definition, education, and career paths.
  • Centralized implementation may be required for company-wide social tools, standards, policies and practices
  • Social capabilities will become embedded in every single website, computing device for every participant in every single business transaction. 

An important thing to realize is that the success of implementing social technologies into mature businesses will be how well business leaders can lead a cultural transformation in order to leverage these new social technologies.  Business leaders must realize that 80% of success of social business efforts will come from strategy, planning, roles, and processes — only 20% will come from the technology platform. All these new capabilities will require new Career Paths and Education tailored to the new social technologies. 

The Social Business Train Is Leaving The Station….are you on it yet?

For More Information

A Social Business Strategy Can Make A Company More Responsive and Agile

One of the big buzzwords of 2011 will be ‘Social Business’.  It’s an outgrowth of terms we’ve seen the last 3 years like social media, social media marketing, social computing, social networking, social CRM, and digital strategy.   I think this term will take hold because it will resonate better with business leaders, who want to make sure social activities leads to business success.  And yes, I do believe a well-implemented social business strategy can help a business become more successful.

Social Business Strategy Can Make A Company More Responsive and Agile Successful businesses put the customer at the center of everything they do. Successful businesses should, in fact, have as a major objective to help their customers be as successful as possible. To do that they need to understand their customer’s business problems and their strategy for solving those business problems. Successful businesses can sometimes be better at anticipating a customer's business needs than the customer itself.

To be successful, companies need to look for ways to increase the volume and quality of conversations they have with the customer. Increasing the volume and quality of conversations help them get closer to their customers. It helps them understand their customers better and hopefully, anticipate their needs.

The social computing trend allows companies to develop a social business strategy that can allow them to get closer to customers. A well designed and implemented social business strategy can enable an increase in the volume and quality of conversations companies can have with their customers. The great thing about having those conversations digitally is that they can happen 24X7.  So wherever you are and whenever you have the urge, you can have a conversation with your customer. 

These conversations can be initiated by the customer or by a company employee.  Through the use of mobile devices, employees can participate in these conversations wherever they happen to be in the world.  And those conversations can be happening at any hour of the day.  Being active socially means that employees can potentially reach customer contacts no matter what level they reside within the customer's organization.  Relationships can be built on social networks with even the most senior contacts within a customer organization.   Employees can share digital content about products and services with customer contacts, getting information in the hands of customers much faster than waiting for a face to face visit.  And the neat thing is that all these digital conversations can occur in real-time too. 

So look for the Social Business buzz to pick up steam in 2011.   To summarize, by implementing a social business strategy, companies can 1) get closer to their customers, 2) understand their needs better, and 3) be much more responsive to their needs.   And a big benefit is that by being more responsive, companies can be more agile, responding to those needs faster than competition. 

Implementing a social business strategy is not easy.  You can’t do it just by setting up a social platform.  It requires hard work to change culture, implement new roles, business processes, etc.  I’ll save that discussion for another future post.

For More Information

For those of you wanting to do some extra reading, here are some links for you to explore. It’s not a comprehensive list, but it’s enough for now.

VentureBeat: Venture Capital Trends For 2010

venturebeat_logo There was an article published at the end of December that I thought those in interested in the venture capital trends for 2010 might want to read.  The article appeared on the VentureBeat site and was written by two partners at Grotech Ventures.  It caught my eye as it discussed where money might be flowing in 2010.

A quick summary of the article:

  • Social Media.  The authors say that social media will be a hot sector.  While there are still many questions about how to monetize the conversational and real-time nature of social media, the authors expects social media to move towards profitability in 2010.
  • Cloud Computing.  The authors expect money to continue to flow to the cloud in 2010.  The financial value of cost savings, infrastructure savings and productivity enhancement will drive continued investment. 
  • Prosumer Technologies.  The authors say this space will fizzle in 2010 and we will see a re-separation of consumer and professional devices, having a trickle-down effect on the ecosystems of startup companies developing for the iPhone, Droid, and other platforms.   It’s interesting to read this view as Deloitte recently came out with their 2010 Technology Predictions (Deloitte: Seven Technology Predictions for 2010), and one of those predictions was that the Prosumer trend will continue to be hot and cause disruption for IT departments.
  • Freemium Model.   The authors say that start-ups should understand that the gap between free and paying customers is widening. As customer attention spans shorten, their brand loyalty diminishes as well.  Users tend to move move on to the next trendy, free offering.  This will put pressure on providers to innovate at an incredibly rapid pace in order to keep pace with market demand.  For more on the freemium business model, see Wikipedia’s article on Freemium.

Check out the full article at VentureBeat “Venture Capital 2010:  Hot (and cold) sectors to watch”.

AdAge: 5 Mobile Advertising Trends To Watch In 2010

ad age_logo Mobile is such a megatrend.  Mobile technologies, applications and services will be big a big story in 2010 and this shift in computing will impact our lives forever.  That is a fact we can not deny.   So I have my radar tuned to any content that helps me understand the underlying drivers and trends.

AdAge recently had an article titled Five Mobile Trends for 2010 that caught my eye.  It provides us with a perspective of the mobile megatrend from those in the advertising industry.  The two authors Dan Neumann (Organic) and Allison Mooney (MobileBehavior) have been focusing on the mobility trend and the impact it will have on advertising.  The article provides their thoughts on the key trends.

Here’s my summary of the five trends they see…

  1. Local Advertising.  Mobile will completely revolutionize the way local advertisers can connect with potential customers.  Mobile search and location based services will allow small local retailers and service providers to reach consumers like they’ve never
  2. Shopping Applications.  The growth in adoption of mobile shopping applications (apps such as price comparison, user product reviews, coupons) will continue to alter in-store consumer behavior. 
  3. Branded Apps and Display Media.   The authors expect that brands and agencies will continue to build their own branded apps.  However thanks to Google, they will also have more attractive display media options.  The authors say to watch out for Google as it attempts to one-up the iPhone app experience.
  4. Outdoor Advertising.   The authors give a few examples of where mobile users can now interact with outdoor ads and signage, opening up a whole new set of opportunities for advertisers.
  5. Social Provides Instant Feedback.  Social technologies give users the ability to express their opinions anywhere, anytime.   Companies need to figure out how to embrace this as part of their marketing process, encouraging and acting on the real-time feedback.

Some interesting trends along with a unique perspective from the advertising industry.  I think it is safe to say that Google has an iron-clad plan to grab their share of the mobile advertising market. 

Feeding Edge: 7 Predictions For The Next Decade

FeedingEdge

Feeding Edge is a consulting company based out of the UK, founded by epredator (ex-IBMer Ian Hughes), a globally recognized metaverse evangelist and tribal leader.   I’ve been a follower of epredator ever since I first ventured into Second Life back in 2006.  He has a great vision for how gaming will improve the future of work and business.

Feeding Edge recently posted a set of 7 predictions about the next 10 years on it’s website’s blog Life at the Feeding Edge

Here is a summary of the seven predictions….

  1. Keep Walking. Our thirst for mobile computing may stress traditional telecom’s business.
  2. Batteries.  Feeding Edge says we need further innovation in batteries.
  3. 3d Printing. 10 years should be enough for this to become “mainstream”.
  4. Games as work. Work and business is a role playing game.
  5. Brands crossing digital borders.  Businesses must learn to engage with people where ever they are online….and offline.
  6. Collectives vs Corporate. Feeding Edge sees a need to reduce long statements and terms and conditions on digital content.
  7. Renaissance – Access for All.  Putting technology in the hands of all people is going to cause a generational renaissance.

Check out Feed'ing Edge’s full post “Next Decade?” at  http://www.feedingedge.co.uk/blog/2009/12/30/the-next-decade/ 

Thanks for the list epredator.