Today’s Q&A is with authors of the newly released Social Business by Design, the definitive management book on how to rethink the modern organization in the social media era. Based on their research and work through the Dachis Group, Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim explore in the book how the social, cultural, and technological trends provoked by the social media explosion are transforming every business environment. Offering both a strategic overview and a hands-on resource, Social Business by Design clearly shows how to choose and implement a social business strategy as well as maximize its impact.
Chances are you’ve already seen this new book pop up in your online reads. Dion Hinchcliffe spoke with Drake Baer of FastCo to produce this insightful Q&A. The authors were also featured in InformationWeek’s Brainyard. As soon as you finish reading our 5 questions with the authors, hop over there to get more details on just how to design a social business.
What does Social Business by Design mean?
It’s an organized approach to incorporating social media into the way a business strategically operates, based on the experiences of hundreds of companies that have successfully made the transition to social business. This deliberate approach helps companies move beyond tactical adoption and become more strategic about social media internally and externally, reaping substantially higher benefits.
How is your approach to social business strategy different from others?
A key difference in our approach is the realization that making substantial changes to a large organization can be an inordinately difficult, time-consuming activity. With this in mind, we asked ourselves, what if we could uncover a set of methods specifically designed for the needs of the traditional enterprise? Social Business by Design is that handbook. It clearly lays out the organizational changes as well as the new processes and structures needed, all the while putting them into a roadmap that is manageable and achievable by the average organization.
What is the most important thing an organization can start doing now in the social space?
First, build competency in the concepts at a strategic level while raising social media literacy across the organization. This lays a strong foundation that will later greatly accelerate the desired outcomes of a social business plan. Also, it’s critical to foster a close, effective working relationship among the main internal actors: typically the C-suite sponsors, the IT department, legal, human resources, and compliance, along with the heads of the lines of business that will be co-creating and adopting social business solutions.
What has been the single most important development in social business?
Probably its profound pervasiveness. That social media is now the leading form of digital communication on the planet, even over e-mail, is still not widely appreciated enough, yet it’s a seismic change in how people live, behave, and interact with each other, and it’s happened in a historically short time period. Businesses are finding that they have a lot to do in order to catch up.
What do you see as the next big change in social business?
The next big change is moving beyond short-term adoption and beginning strategic social business transformation. Most companies have added social media to how they do things, updating their processes incrementally by sprinkling in some social media. However, those companies reaping the largest benefits are the ones rethinking what’s possible by also incorporating peer production, mass participation, social collaboration, and network effects, to name just a few other areas that can greatly benefit. While many companies have successfully energized their workforce, marketing efforts, and customer care with social media over the years, the cases in our book show that those that commit to social business throughout the organization achieve remarkably higher returns on investment and competitive positioning.