Tag Archives: socialHRsuccess

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.


Out of office but in action!

IBM CSCI am on my IBM Corporate Services Corps assignment to Colombia, working on an exciting and enriching leadership assignment. My small team includes Danielle Rosado Galiazi from Brazil and Jordan E Scarboro from the USA. I will be out of office from 12th Sept 2014 and will be back on 13th Oct 2014. I will have limited access to my internet during this period and hence, I will be off the grid.

In my absence, please feel free to contact (internal IBM profile links):

I will continue to update this blog as and when I get time and net access, so feel free to follow it.

Do continue to post on my wall and profile, so that I may reply whenever I can or someone else will, to help resolve issues or answer queries. If it just can not wait, then call me at  +57-300-505-3836 (Colombia) or +91-80-4317-7239 (India)

Thank you all,

Khalid Raza

You know the moves, but can you swim?

Performance evaluation without the culture of feedback is like learning to swim on your bed. You may master the moves but it won’t help you swim. – Khalid Raza

Nobody is perfect, you, your manager, your employees, your spouse, kids, or your organization. Being able to receive and utilize feedback can be the difference between greater level of success and deeper personal satisfaction and/or mediocre performance and unhappy personal state.

Annual performance management is a key component of employee development. An employee evaluation is the assessment and review of a worker’s job performance. Most companies have performance evaluation system wherein employees are evaluated on a regular basis (mostly once a year). Organizations have detailed policies and guidelines to ensure performance review is a fair and balanced assessment of an employee’s performance. And, most of them succeed in doing so.

However, a critical and integral piece is always left to the heavens, by leaders and organizations – and that is, ‘fostering a culture of feedback.’ Continuous, timely and relevant feedback is not something that happens in December (Annual performance evaluations cycle closure) but is a part of daily performance development. Do we wait to tell our kids not to play with anything that can hurt them or could be detrimental to their health? Then, why do we wait till the end of the performance evaluation cycle, to share feedback?

Wind Surfboard 2014 Khalid Raza SocialGlamor

Maureen Monte, my friend and mentor, highlights this in her lovely blog, how others’ perspective on our behavior can help us see what we don’t know about ourselves. Others’ perspective on our behavior is the benchmark one should follow to see if we are effective. We may do a world of amazing things but if that is not effective, we are missing the bus and people around us, can provide the best account of it, and help us become better. Sometimes, all you just need is encouragement and a nudge to get up and get going.

Recommended: Why do we fall (video)?

In their book, ‘Thanks for the Feedback’ – Douglas Stone and Sheila Heen share three kinds of feedback – Appreciation, Coaching, and Evaluation.

  • Appreciation motivates us – it puts the spring in our step and gives us the energy to amplify our efforts. When people complain that they don’t get enough feedback at work, they often mean that they wonder whether anyone notices or cares how hard they’re working. They don’t want advice. They want appreciation.
  • Coaching is aimed at helping us learn, grow, or change. The focus is on helping the person improve, whether it involves a skill, an idea, knowledge, a particular practice, or that person’s appearance or personality.
  • Evaluation tells us where we stand. It’s an assessment, ranking, or rating. The one we do all the time at work and have become so successful at.

Each form of feedback – appreciation, coaching, and evaluation – satisfies a different set of human needs.

We need evaluation to know where we stand, to set expectations, to feel reassured or secure. We need coaching to accelerate learning, to focus our time and energy where it really matters, and to keep our relationships healthy and functioning. We need appreciation to feel motivated, to regroup and continue to do our best.

In IBM, we are building a new way of working that is agile, engaging, and increasingly more effective for all IBMers.  As HR leaders, we can have tremendous impact on the workforce by building and nurturing a culture of feedback, wherein all IBMers are heard, enabled, and empowered. It is important to note that we must be agile in our approach to receiving and giving feedback.

How can you contribute?

You hold the key to make your work place happy and create leaders around you and in the process transform your journey. List down three people you think will benefit from your feedback and three people whose feedback you should seek. Go out, set up up time with them and engage in a fruitful discussion. Repeat this exercise every month and slowly make this a continual practice.

Recommended: You can make your workplace happy.

Share this blog with your network through Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and most importantly, be a role model for all in promoting the cultural transformation

So, next time someone wants to learn to swim, don’t buy them the manual, take them to the pool!

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary

Three steps to make your organization open/social

BrandingAll the leaders in Human Resources and Management are trying to tap into social as a means to get people engage better within the organization.

There are already big plans in place for engagement, a lot many are being hatched in Board (bored) room by leaders which are not really open or social. Well, that’s a topic for another day, let’s not focus on that as of now. So what is wrong in that?  It makes perfect sense to have ESN (Enterprise Social Network) and then get all your employees on it and voila! You have social happening. Beautiful decks, showing how ‘much’ is achieved – innumerable blogs by leaders, comments, likes… We nailed it! Just 18% of companies have an Enterprise Social Network (ESN) platform. Tweet this.

Wow! Everyone is engaged. Oh sorry, where are the employees? Don’t worry, employees should follow leaders. That has always been the norm – why should it change on social? But hey, there is a hitch. The communication watchdog team will not allow employees to blog or say something ‘honest’. Like the  watch dog, they will read each post and howl if someone says anything non-conforming to their agenda. We are nailing the coffin now. Continue reading

I think social is overhyped!

Exactly, I think social is overhyped!

KhalidRazaSocialLoveThat’s what a lot of leaders say to me, subtly, and they are not the only ones. Oops, mebbe I should not have mentioned it. Well, I feel social is over-engineered but not overhyped. Tim Collins, Director, HR Talent, Development & Resources, and #socialHRsuccess (an effort to enable IBM HR Professional and processes be more social) a leader, shared this with me in his brilliant blog, HR Globalist (IBM internal blog):

“According to Vala Afshar, CMO of Extreme Networks: Don’t do social, be social. 


Social is not something extra you do on top of your regular work.

Who has the time to do more? I certainly don’t. To be social, you have to change the way you approach your job. For me, social is where real work gets done — sharing, collaborating across time zones and geos, networking, finding knowledge and great ideas wherever and with whomever they reside. It can be done in public, in the open, and when the situation calls for it, in private, 100% secure, restricted communities, wikis and activities. When done right, it democratizes the organization, breaks down silos and hierarchy, improves both speed and quality.”

Isn’t it super simple. This line, “To be social, you have to change the way you approach your job.” That for me is the crux of what social is all about.

This week, I was creating a new archive (yes I still use emails), like I do every year and started to wonder – how many emails did I get/send in 2014? I did a quick check and I was surprised at what I found. Take a look:

Email graph

The traffic has reduced so much for me. From 2012 till today, I have got 9000 less emails! And, if I would have spent 1 minute per email (average), I would have saved 9000 minutes. Of course not all of this is because of social, considering that I switched roles, moved projects etc, but this is a staggering number! Obviously, I, like other #socialangels who put in efforts to take non-confidential conversation to the ‘open/social’ platform IBM Connections, our Enterprise Social Network.

Now, I have not calculated exactly how much time I must have saved, when people ask me a question on my Connections profile and when my network chips in to respond, saving time for not only me but for the person who asks the question. This aspect of mutual knowledge empowers us to find information faster, work better and live happier.

Imagine a scenario where you need a solution and you do not know who can help you. What will you do? Spend time to find out an expert (only if you are able to find one, who for sure knows the answer to your question), send them an email and wait for them to respond to you. Really!

What you can do is just go to your social network profile and post the question and someone in your network will help you – but before you become selfish and incline only toward extracting information, you must also spend time to help others. Now, that would be a good thumb rule!

Let me share this screenshot which clearly demonstrates the power of social and how it helped me save time and find a solution. Check this out:


And, this is not it – there is much more, the private activities where I document my 101 with my manager, the private wiki where I document three quarterly highlights, (which eventually help me with my PBC (IBM’s annual employee appraisal, immensely), private/open communities where I ask/provide answers, internal blog and #SocialGlamorthe list just goes on.

Final thoughts: I see social as a tool to help us become more productive, faster and efficient in what we do. Share your thoughts and let me know how social has changed your work day!

Edited by: Vanitha Poojary


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