Tag Archives: Social business

Facebook@work is good for social business

Facebook at Work #SocialGlamor Khalid RazaTechCrunch spoke about Facebook’s entrance into the enterprise social ring. FB@Work features a feed of ‘what’s new and relevant at your company,’ individual and group chat, groups, and events. You will also be able to see ‘public’ posts. I think this is a smart move by Facebook.

FB@Work is good for social and especially enterprise social. Yes, it is. Here is why:

  1. Easy adoption: Almost everyone uses Facebook, including my father-in-law! Hence organizations would not have to spend a lot of time and effort on education and enablement. The biggest challenge any Enterprise Social Network (ESN) faces is adoption and behavioral change. In this case, it will not be a hindrance at all.
  2. Integrated chat: Most ESNs lack integrated chat (as of now) and are working towards it. An integrated chat feature allows users to stay glued to the platform and get in there more often, which promotes usage. We all know how efficient Facebook chat is.
  3. Mix of intranet and internet: Tech savvy employees need to stay connected and when the organization’s ESN allows that, there will be a boost in productivity due to extended usage. I use Facebook chat to talk to my manager when I am not on IBM network – it is faster, simple and effective.
  4. Analytics: Facebook has progressed a lot in terms of analytics, which will allow enterprises to get key insights in social usage for their employees. A lot of ESNs are yet to catch up in this area.

My verdict is that FB@Work will ramp up faster than we can imagine. The only challenge it may face in the next 3-5 years is to convince large organizations which are already using ESNs like Connections, Yammers, Jives among others, to switch to FB@Work. Smaller organizations, which are either on the brink of a decision or have never bothered about social, will jump right in.

What do you think? Will you give this blog a like or comment and let me know your thoughts?

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If it Clicks, it’s Social!

Our super charged, hyper-connected workforce needs active, social and open leaders. Cherish or perish! – Khalid Raza [Tweet this]

BRANDfog’s 2014: The Global, Social CEO survey results are out. It provides the crucial reality check which some of our leaders may not wish to see. The survey primarily focuses on the C-suite’s social media engagement and business leader involvement.

Here are the three results from this year’s 15-question survey:

  1. Social CEOs make better leaders: Between 2012 and 2013, the perception that C-Suite and executive participation in social media leads to better leadership, increased from 45% to 75%.
  2. Social CEO engagement leads to brand trust: A company whose C-Suite executives and leadership teams use social to communicate on core mission, brand values and purpose is more trustworthy.
  3. Social media is modern PR: One of the most insightful survey results is that social media has become the new age PR for executives, especially for brands in crisis.

None of this should be a surprise. We believe that being social and open helps us become more human, real and effective. Being social is not an event or a box to tick, it is who we are as people, it is a state of being! It is about transformation and reinvention. (Tweet this)

Social Leaders #SocialGlamor Khalid Raza

Legacy solutions and systems (like email and team rooms), still garner a lot of support from the leaders when it comes to implementation and usage. Social is too often the second choice solution for leaders and their management teams. If that continues as the modus operandi, Gartner research estimates that 80% of social business initiatives would deliver disappointing results over the next three years. Not surprising again!

This article from Gerald C (Jerry) Kane, an associate professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management at Boston College, highlights three reasons why social business initiatives fail:

1. Managers go into social business with unclear goals.
2. Initiatives start as pilots, and then fizzle out due to modest participation.
3. Companies expect social initiatives, even pilots, to deliver a financial return on investment.

The problem lies at a very deeper and basic level – right in the minds of our leaders. The ‘change’ has been painful and agonizing.. Here’s one example:  continuing to rely on email is the ‘only’ or preferred way to work. Email, corporate intranets and knowledge management solutions are clearly not ‘old’ technologies, but in the context of true collaboration they are outdated, old school, and rely on  rigid methodologies, hierarchy and structures that don’t take full advantage of the free-form approach of enterprise social collaboration.

In IBM, we understand this challenge. Interestingly, the power and potential of social is also its biggest roadblock! Supporting efforts and enablement programs can only do so much. The journey of a leader to become social and open has to be undertaken by the leader himself or herself.

Here are a few steps every leader can do take to make social click for them:

  1. Identify your calling: Social won’t happen for you because it is happening for others! Find your own reason how social can make you a better leader, a better colleague, and find your own unique voice. Once you are cognizant of the reason, the rest of the journey will be easy. If social does not click for you, then you are in the wrong place. Many leaders skip this step.
  2. Focus on solving the problem: This means becoming more effective and productive. It can be knowledge-sharing, digital eminence, collaboration, sales, and knowledge-management. Don’t do it for a scorecard, do it for yourself. Or else you will fail.
  3. Social is all about authenticity and being real, aka organic: Unless you are a celebrity doing social to “be” what other people want you to be, inorganic social activity is a waste. It may gratify you for a bit, but it will do harm. Build your #socialglamor each day, with honest, sincere and vulnerable social participation.
  4. Define the end result you want and not the ROI: Emails do not have any ROI and we never ask for it. For social, return on investment comes up often.  Spend the time to visualize the success you want to achieve with social and that will put you on the right path.
  5. Walk the talk: Let go of control, be self-aware and vulnerable. Social is all about being out there, with everyone else on a level playing field.

Great leaders have always been about equality and inspiration. They knew that real value comes from merit and teamwork. The corporate creations of corner offices, private suites, concierge service and round tables made this less possible.

First few lines of this amazing video seal it for me.

“There are a lot of people, who say: ‘But I tried once or twice… and it didn’t work out’. And so they use that as an excuse not to ever come out again.”

I leave you with this.  How do you want to be remembered? As a person who clicks in the true spirit of social or someone for whom social needs to be clicked, a box to be ticked? Share your thoughts.

#IBMVerse #NewWaytoWork

Here’s the answer to the oft repeated question – what if we could reinvent the way people interact with each other at workplace.

IBM Verse

Yesterday in New York, IBM created future by launching ‘A New Way To Work,’ featuring IBM Verse, the next generation of enterprise email. IBM Verse is taking mail users from ‘no’ to ‘know’ way of working. The revolutionary concept of IBM Verse comes from combined insights – IBM research, IBM design, social and open way of working, client and marketplace understanding – and their visualization of ‘What if we organized the mail inbox around people?’

Jeff Schick, General Manager, Enterprise Social Solutions, IBM, unveiled IBM Verse, which integrates the many ways employees interact every day – email, meetings, calendars, file sharing, social updates, instant messaging etc. IBM Verse is mail that understands you. Because it’s cloud-enabled, designed for mobile devices, and powered by IBM’s analytics and advanced search, IBM Verse works for you, not the other way around.

It clears the clutter in your mailbox and provides more clarity. Experienced through a simple, see-only-what-you-need interface, it helps you focus on the things that matter most. And, it will connect the ‘I to the we,’ with an array of intelligent, secure and engaging social apps.

IBM Verse will open up new ways to work together. It will be available through ‘invitation-only’ for clients, partners and IBMers, with the beta-phase continuing through 2Q 2015.

In my view, IBM Verse breathes in new life into the email culture, kicking off a new way of working. It will establish some good habits like, using files as a way to send attachments, restricting unnecessary copy to the world etc.

It will also allow intelligent understanding and use of the inbox. For example: Users can save a search of a particular favorite or prioritized contact, users can see exactly what projects need their action without having to sift through tons of emails to prioritize and find information.

I love the way the calendar bar blends in at the bottom of the screen. The placement is based on a lot of design and research work and it makes a difference. Users can quickly see what their day looks like and can navigate the calendar through the day or night. When you click on the picture of one of the people you get a quick access menu, which allows you to start an email, chat, or meeting with that person with one click.

Lot of good things served in one place for sure. Now the question we need to ask is, will it enable social and open way of working or will it make the adoption of social more difficult? What do you think? Do let me know!

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary

30 things you no longer need because of Smartphones [Video] and State of Mobile 2013 [Infographic]

IMG-20131223-WA0001While sipping my morning tea, in this cold Bangalore morning (though not as cold as I would like it to be), I was scanning the tweet stream on my Galaxy Note 2, and found this video, which talks about the ‘30 Things You No Longer Need Because of Smartphones.’ I could not stop but wonder, how smartphones have invaded our lives. I reflected on where I used my phone in the last 24 hours and I was surprised that I had not touched my Thinkpad and Nexus 7 at all. All right, I confess, I did use the Nexus 7. But, all my office and personal emails, ticket booking for my travel, PNR status, stock updates, dictionary, weather updates, video calling…everything gets done on my smartphone.

One of my friends, bought a GPS device a while ago and now is wondering what to do with it, as the Google maps on his Android smartphone, does a great job of navigation and much more. This is just one case on how smartphones are making a lot of other devices obsolete. This is incredible.

Let me share the video with all of you

Can you think of anything else we no longer need because of smartphones? Reply using comments, below.

Smartphones have transformed our lives and not just the general lives, these devices, with the power of social media, are changing the way business is done. Read: We don’t buy alone! Anymore!

In one of my previous blogs, I mentioned how IBM is bringing mobile revolution, and the reports from all over the world are reconfirming the vision. As per the latest Cyber Monday Report, in 2013, the mobile traffic grew to 31.7% of all online traffic, increasing by 45% over 2012. This clearly shows how the smartphone is fast becoming the medium of choice for consumers.

As per digitalbuzzblog.com, here are the latest mobile growth statistics for 2013, a complete in-depth summary of where the mobile market is now at, including things like mobile phone adoption rates, smartphone penetration rates, most popular mobile browsers, mobile/tablet sales figures, media consumption habits on mobile devices .etc all with the latest 2013 data on the growth of mobile… The infographic was created by the guys at Super Monitoring. Here are a few key statistics;

  • 91% of all people on earth have a mobile phone
  • 56% of people own a smart phone Continue reading

Three tips to engage your employees

I was recently engaged in a conversation on how IBM keeps its employees engaged, although spread across so many countries and geographies and as always I thought I would share my opinions with the wider world. I would not dwell on the details, obviously.

According to a report from Gallup 70% of American workers are either not-engaged or actively disengaged, which means they’re disruptive and undermining workplace productivity. And here’s a related stat: “Gallup estimates that actively disengaged employees cost the US $450 billion to $550 billion in lost productivity per year.” So imagine 7 out of 10 employees do not care, literally, what you do to engage employees.

A lot of leaders and program managers turned to Social Media, thinking this would be the solution and voila! They failed again. Gartner research estimates that 80% of social business initiatives would deliver disappointing results over the next three years.

So where are you heading?

A recent article by Gerald C. Kane highlights three reasons why our social business initiatives are failing:

1. Managers go into social business with unclear goals.
2. Initiatives start as pilots, and then fizzle out due to modest participation.
3. Companies expect social initiatives, even pilots, to deliver a financial return on investment.

So the question boils down to – how do we engage our workforce? Let’s watch this video which highlights what could be the solution: Continue reading

Where is your internal Social Strategy?

The need for social strategy.
Strategy 2014 Khalid Raza SocialGlamorA friend of mine, joined an organization recently, emailed me one day and asked me to mentor him on use of social tools within the organization and also help him create more robust SocialGlamor for him in the wider world. While chatting with him, I asked, why does he need to use these tools and his response stumped me! He wanted to use these tools to catch up with people, around him, who are using them everyday. He did not know WHY he needed to become social. He also mentioned that he does not have time for it but his leadership wants him to become social. This is more dangerous that the Cloned Social concept!

Where are we heading?
The use of social tools, like twitter, facebook, Connections, blogging etc should make us more productive, is what i understood all along, but recently the pull-push marketing has made the use these tools just a fashion statement. “Because everyone is using it, you should”, is a fallacy and will make more fatigued employees and will defeat the purpose.
Organizations need to be careful while pushing employees to use social media in the wake of becoming social business. The stress of work and then this additional task of ‘using’ social tools will hamper the productivity and natural uptake of these tools.
The focus should be on efficiency – the ability to accomplish a job with minimum effort, in least amount of time, using less resources and yet being effective.
The first question every organization should ask itself is, “Do we have a Social Strategy?” This is the starting point in creating, if there isn’t. Most of the companies are yet to reach the phase where their social strategy, if exists, compliments the Talent Strategy. These two can not be exclusive. Never! Continue reading
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