Sandy Carter, IBM: “Culture eats strategy for lunch!”

1st Jun 2012

With the latest IDC figures predicting the social enterprise market will reach $200bn by 2013, social should be a valued part of your business, according to Sandy Carter.

Speaking at the Social Business Strategy Summit in London, the VP of Social Business Evangelism and Sales at IBM, explained how 4000,000 ‘IBMers’ are using social within the business. In its social strategy, she explained, the software giant examines goals and culture, engagement, processes, design for reputation, and analyse.

“When IBM set out to be a social business, we looked at the type of things in the business we wanted to impact.” The company first examined goals and culture both internally and externally, said Carter, highlighting the creation of the IBM 'digital council' as one of the drivers of culture. 

She explained that culture starts firmly at the top: companies need strong leadership if they want to ensure social is adopted. “Do not underestimate the power of culture and leadership,” she said. “Culture eats strategy for lunch.”

Turning to engagement she said: “Engagement is about moving someone from being a spectator to being a participant, both internally and externally.” To do this, IBM is using gaming technology externally for client and inside the company to, incentivising 'IBMers' with virtual rewards.

She further talked of the need for social to be embedded into the business processes and daily workflow: “Embed it into everything you do. Social allows you to ‘listen in’ on what’s going on in the marketplace and provides real ROI.”

One of the key reasons companies are reluctant to implement social is they feel it’s too risky and they’re worried what their employees will say, said Carter. Companies need a disaster recovery plan for social – be proactive and fast and be transparent with a two-way dialogue.

Finally, aid your plan with analytics: “Measure, measure and measure again,” she said. 

Sandy Carter's slides from her keynote speech at #SBSS12 will be availble on soon


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