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October 3, 2012
The Promise of Social Business
There is a growing movement to apply social media sensibilities and behavior to internal communications and management. Led by IBM, which has sufficient expertise, infrastructure, and incentives to have transformed itself over the last year or two, this new social business model aims to transform real-time work processes in ways that leverage collective knowledge and experience, empower employees, and achieve efficiencies in communication while driving growth.
The need to share knowledge, give customers a voice, and always be on are principal drivers of initiatives that connect social attitudes and social media tools to business objectives and corporate values. Called social business or the social enterprise, the promise is that a social media orientation will foster collaboration, transparency, and knowledge transfer throughout an organization by utilizing personal and corporate networks to create and distribute vital content and information up, down, and across the organization.
The root assumption is that workers want to know what’s going on, care a lot about their employers and customers, and are intuitively equipped to voice opinions, share, help each other, collaborate across verticals and geographies, post, respond or comment while protecting trade secrets, adhering to regulatory requirements, and devising new products and promotion tactics. Social behavior channeled through an enterprise should have a surprising impact on profitability, since it aims to marshal human and intellectual capital, reduce the complexity of operations, and speed communication and cooperation.
Considering a social transformation requires top-down buy-in, a major shift in thinking about access to information flow and company strategy, and a whole lot of complex technology. Businesses likely to consider a social model are filled with knowledge workers, require continuous innovation to survive, operate in iterative environments, and put a high premium on creating a culture that reflects the psycho-demographics of its work force.
If valid, this evolving social business model will help companies answer the perennial executive management questions:
  • What do we know individually and collectively and how can we harness and protect our IP?
  • What resources do we have and how can we deploy, share, and use them efficiently?
  • What talent do we have and how can we deploy it for optimum impact and employee satisfaction?
  • How can we effectively communicate in real time with employees, partners, and customers to create an authentic and productive dialogue?
  • What’s going on in our markets and can we nimbly anticipate and respond to developments?
  • How can we continuously drive workflow efficiencies and draw partners closer?
  • How can we build an interactive culture of collaboration and innovation that enables us to grow and prosper?

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Danny Flamberg, EVP Managing Director of Digital Strategy and CRM at Publicis based in New York, has been building brands and building businesses for more than 30 years.Prior to joining Publicis, he led a successful global consulting group called Booster Rocket, as Managing Partner. Before becoming a consultant, he was Vice President of Global Marketing at SAP, SVP and Managing Director at Digitas in New York and Europe and President of Relationship Marketing at Amiratti Puris Lintas and Lowe Worldwide.
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