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Esteban Kolsky: "Social business is simple"

8th Mar 2013
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“Social business is a snap. Simple. Uncomplicated. Two bits and change.”

So says the founder of thinkJar Esteban Kolsky in a new blog post, adding: “You don’t even need to buy, invest, change, or even do something different. You got all it takes, most of what it needs (you may need some software – but I am sure you already bought what you needed in the past few years), and the investment of time is minimal.”

According to Kolsky, there are five categories that matter when it comes to enterprise technology that any organisation adopting, changing or deploying social business must consider:

People: There is no methodology that will change any company’s culture – that takes time and is influenced heavily by external factors (society, political, financial, and many more). Your people are already social, he epxlains. 

Change management is not about changing the culture, is about making sure you don’t upset your employees as you embrace social business – but they are actually asking why you have not deployed it. It is not the culture that is behind, it’s management.

Process: Change in process is what makes most of the technologies adopted by the enterprise cumbersome, says Kolsky. But you are forgetting something – the countless dollars and time you spent during the 1990′s and early 2000′s in BPX (where X is any of one of the alphabet letters with a different meaning and BP stands for business process).  

You have already done most of the work (I’d say all of it, but there are likely to be undocumented processes created between then and now) and have the documentation. You already know how to handle it — and more than likely you have processes in place (no pun intended – OK, maybe just a little) to tell you how to deal with changes in processes.

Every single project you have done since then, and even before, has encompassed changes in your processes – you already know how to deal with that. If that is not enough, remember – social business is about a business evolution that happens by adopting social media (channels) to — well, do the same you always did in a better fashion.

Technology: According to most vendors and some of the people out there, this is the solution to all your Social problems. You will hear the business management consultant crowd yell how technology is nothing, strategy is everything. As I detailed when laying out my framework for Social CRM – strategy is quite simple. He adds: And it is not a solution; it is a way for you to make sure you understand what you are doing, but not the solution.

Technology is not complicated this time, how to leverage the technology is where the secret is – but there is nothing you can do to change that — other than deploy the technology, allow stakeholders to use it, and see what develops (with apologies to Polaroid on that “lift”).

Measurement: In spite of the noise surrounding social – and Big Data and analytics – there is nothing new to social business when it comes to metrics. Find the numbers that make sense to track (which, as always comes down to understanding what you are trying to do in Social Business), correlate them to KPIs (which should be simple, since you have done it before and know what your company’s KPIs are), and prepare reports to detail how Social Business has affected your business. 

Governance: According to Kolsky, governance is what you need to do when you aggregate all of the above into one single location, and how you manage it. Documentation on processes changed, metrics used and their correlation to KPIs, technology decisions for maintenance and deployment, change management that is necessary – and more. All the new rules, regulations, and guidelines that arise from the use of the above – and their legal connotations (if any, not applicable to everyone but if you are in a regulated or compliance-heavy industry you know what I am talking about) from embracing social business.

The work for governance, under-appreciated as it is, is like the work in technology – more than likely the pieces are there and ready to be adopted – you just need to find them and embrace them (and, yes — you may be missing a few pieces… but the work is not that hard to do since for the most part it has already been done by someone else out there and you just need to find it and adapt it).

Kolsky concludes with the question ‘Can we put social business behind us now and move to an evolved version of business that needs to deal with cloud, mobility, and complex analytics?’

To read the fully blog post, click here.  

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