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May 15, 2012

Key Factors to Social Business Success

by deirdrewalsh
Recently, I had the opportunity to sit down with Jive Chief Strategy Officer Christopher Morace to find out his view on what really matters when building a Social Business. Culture? Technology? Strategy?  Here’s what he had to say:

iStock_000016149647XSmall.jpgQ. When trying to create a truly Social Business, what are the key success factors?
Chris: I think there are a couple of things that are critically important to enabling success. The first is understanding the way your own organization works, adapts, and evolves.  The second is selecting the right technology platform to enable it. People get confused into thinking that technology will solve everything, or that technology isn’t important at all. The reality is that you need to be very mindful of both organization and technological concerns.

Many companies embrace social by trying it in a place that will provide the most value. There are so many possible places to start and often the most critical component is that a team has clarity on what they want to do and how they want to use it.  In these cases the ability to instantly get up, on, and driving toward value is imperative. 

For example, CSC wanted a collaboration solution to help improve expertise location, speed up onboarding, promote innovation, preserve IP, and reduce time spent evaluating solution and technology partner options. Based on the viral success of its pilot (25K users in less than 20 weeks), they launched Jive Software company-wide. With more than 45,000 active members, Jive is at the heart of the company’s internal platform, C3. In addition to collapsing time and geo barriers, CSC is seeing a reduction in proposal development times and customer acquisition costs and more collaboration around business processes that are driving efficiencies. Read the full case study here.

In other cases a CEO may be leveraging Social Business transform their culture into one that is more open, transparent, and adaptable. In these cases it is critical that the solution connect into the systems users spend their time in today. Very few people have the time to learn a new way of doing things in the midst of their hectic schedule, so it is imperative that you go to where they are and add value or give them an inviting doorway into a better way to work in a system like Sharepoint, Outlook, or Office Terry McGraw, chairman, president, and CEO of the McGraw-Hill Companies, exemplifies this point.  He introduced their internal Jive social network to help employees collaborate, share knowledge, and work closer as a team.   

Finally, it is really critical that techniques are used to help orient new users on the system and get them to a place where they are producing real business results. We have found that game mechanics are really useful here. Users are given simple quests, challenges, and incentives that motivate them and help them learn how to quickly accomplish things they want to do. They are immediately recognized and rewarded, and they see others doing the same things. It’s an effortless way to turn novices into highly productive users.

To read more about gamification, see Molly Kittle blog post Engage! Gamification for the Enterprise 

What do YOU think are the key factors for success in Social Business? Comment below.

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