Social technology is revolutionizing the business world. Everywhere, businesses have find ways to improve their business strategies, marketing, and business operations. These operations are global and growing. With this explosion of information comes the inevitable problem of operationalizing the concepts. As explained in the previous post [link], maximizing social technology requires a significant amount of buy-in and effective planning. Here are some helpful tips for moving toward a more effective social technology company.
1. Don’t Collect – Connect!
With the advent of business big data conversations over the past year, and the recent trends toward more social business planning, companies now have enormous opportunities to measure performance, find information, and collect data on pretty much anything. However, data collection itself has drawbacks. With big data, you always will have to deal with potential information overload. If you are just collecting data, it is not very helpful aside from satisfying curiosity. The information has to be connected to real goals and specific plans. Go beyond attaching social technology to a project and expecting it to generate the insight. Insight comes from both specifying the context of information and personally connecting the data with meaning. Use your social technology by making positive connections to meaningful action.
2. Measure Everything
You can only improve what you measure. Everything else is gut, and gut tends to be pretty inconsistent. Intuitive decision-making is better when backup by logical judgments. Does that mean you should measure everything? Of course. Sales performance? Most definitely. Customer satisfaction? A given. Employee engagement? Yes. The average height of employees? Alrightkey , perhaps not everything. Barring the arbitrary, your organization should develop ways to objectively determine the success of people, projects, programs, operations, and departments. The key to evaluating, is determining key performance indicators for each respective element. Use these KPIs to benchmark your performance and industry performance.
3. Replace email with real time collaboration software
Email is one of the greatest communication tools brought on by the advent of the internet, but it can be quite cumbersome when five people are all working on the project at once. The distractions and unwieldy nature of email means it has long been considered ill-suited for real time collaboration. Some have estimated that employees send an average of 28 hours per week reading and answering emails. Real-time collaboration tools offer productive, useful alternatives to the email dilemma. There are dozens of applications and tools available on the web for a variety of different tasks. Optimize their use for your business.
4. Automate Everything You Can
Adam Stone, the CEO of D-Tools believes that “Anything you have to do more than twice has to be automated.”
Frequently, employees take for granted the benefits of automating specific processes or even steps within the process. This is typically a result either ignorance of the capabilities to automate a process or lack of sufficient resources/capabilities. As such, they become bogged down in manual processes that are both time-consuming and prone to error. Automation has enormous potential. It can be applied to something as large as entire processes or as simple as monthly reporting.
5. Grassroots Strategy
While asking for comprehensive input on your business strategy might seem counter-intuitive to those who have meticulously designed end-to-end business strategies, yet companies have begun realizing the value of collaboration even on business strategy planning. Since business planning typically involves an insufficient sample size of perspective stakeholders within the organization, they tend to favor specific plans. The insight gained from all perspective stakeholders allows organizations to engage in robust strategy formulation. Additionally, the increased involvement in strategic planning substantially improves buy-in from all the stakeholders. Since buy-in is the most important element of any strategy, crowdsourcing is quite valuable.
When you are so focused on business, it is not hard to get lost in the weeds. When everything is about delivery, accelerated planning, and rapid development, there is little time to halt. But this should not paralyze effective planning. As businesses adapt to the ever-evolving environment, social technology will continue to grow in significance. Fortunately, if organizations understand how to use this technology effectively, they can improve their business value considerably by accelerating collaboration and reducing inefficiencies. Thus, high value moves become the norm.