$900 billion to $1.3 trillion – that’s the estimated annual value McKinsey & Company assigns to emerging social technologies. To compete in the social economy organizations must rapidly integrate, adapt to, and learn from new social platforms. Social technology is here and it is transforming the way businesses operate. Thus, senior executives must confront three critical questions about social technology:What social technologies are best for my organization? How can I rapidly align my team to scale implementation? How do I gain value, measure success, and track the ROI of social tools across my entire organization?
What social technologies are best for my organization?
Getting value from social technology requires comprehensive organizational learning tools. Most current social technology tools only enhance one or two areas of a business. Consider the following:
Sales Force:turn-key CRM for sales, marketing, and account management (Market Lens)
Hubspot:Helps you do all your marketing in one place. (Market Lens)
Yammer or Jive:Workplace collaboration tools (People Lens)
IBM Connect:Helps users find subject matter experts (People Lens)
While any of these tools might augment one or two specific functions within your business, they won’t provide the comprehensive, organized data you need to excel in the social economy. To evaluate which resource is best for an organization, senior management needs to empower and listen to the people within the affected departments. Give everyone in the organization a voice so they can share their perspective on what tools will really help them perform their jobs more effectively. Social technology can’t be implemented from the top down; it has to be adopted at the grass-roots level of the organization. So let them speak out! Capture the perceptions of your customers, employees, board members, and investors. Crowdsourcing your social integration strategy will ensure buy-in and rapid adoption.
How can I rapidly align my team to scale implementation?
Once everyone in the organization has given input it’s critical that the leadership team wholeheartedly embrace the chosen strategy. Alignment on the leadership team is key to ensuring buy-in from the rest of the organization.
To facilitate rapid, successful implementation, create tiger implementation teams and periodically check in on their progress. Develop a quantitative method to verify that everyone is on the same page. While hiring consultants to interview each individual executive might help establish an effective Automating the alignment process is by far the optimal approach. Executives can automate by utilizing software that engages and tracks the changing perceptions of your executives and tiger teams.
How do I gain value, measure success, and track the ROI of social technology across my entire organization?
McKinsey estimates that two thirds or $866 billion of the $1.3 trillion in annual adaptive value comes from connecting thoughts, ideas, communication, and collaboration across the organization. That means that organizations will profit most by using social technologies to learn and think together. An effective matrix must be:
Simple– so it’s easy for users to manage and interpret.
Comprehensive– so leaders can see how each part of their organization responds to the changes.
Alignment Focused– to demonstrate a clear causal link between social technologies and performance.
Quantitative and Qualitative– so it can use hard and soft data to evaluate how employees feel about the changes as well as how the changes affect hard performance benchmarks.
Continuous– Social technologies are evolving and moving faster and faster. Engage your customers, employees, board members, and investors in an ongoing conversation about the social technologies they need to collaborate effectively.