.. and here is the crazy thing, it’s started way back in 2006. For the skeptics that think that social business (or whatever you want to call it) doesn’t exist or just the latest buzz word, please read on.
I found this golden nugget linked from a blog post which I can’t seem to find. It’s a White Paper/PDF titled “Work Faster, Work Better, Work Smarter Building agile, collaborative, and connected business environments.” I also heard someone talking about this a few years ago at a conference I attended. Talk about fate!
Here is an example of a large organization that opened up its firewall, built a community, co-created processes, innovated its products and reaped the rewards of increased productivity and efficiencies – and at the end of the day resulted in happy customers, happy partners and happy employees. I have had several conversations with IBM executives (See: IBM Case Study) and marketing folks over the last few months and I feel confident in saying that they are probably the closest it comes to a fully collaborative social business.
IBM, a global technology and consulting firm with thousands of clients in more than 170 countries realized that it could work smarter by soliciting meaningful advice from its global ecosystem of partners, suppliers and customers. Using their signature online collaboration tool that allows large groups of people to generate ideas and give feedback, IBM conducted the first InnovationJam back in 2006 (now called Collaboration Jam). The result was an explosion of new, innovative ideas; 46,000 at the time this document was published in 2009. And since then, the company has invested $70 million in the best of those ideas, and generated close to $300 million – again, this was two years ago so who knows what that number looks like now.
Point is .. the evolution, transformation (or however you want to refer to it) of social business is here; and has been for quite some time. And I would bet that there are very similar examples like this happening all over the globe in companies of all sizes. But realize that there will never be a perfect social business. There will always be groups of people and pockets in the organization that refuse to change or adapt. And, inefficiencies will certainly arise when new leaders come into an organizations. And, silos will appear and disappear each time there is a new re-org (and those happen quarterly in some companies). Social business transformation is a cycle of change just like everything else in life.
I write at length about this very topic in my book , Smart Business, Social Business: A Playbook for Social Media in Your Organization. You can order by clicking on the below social business book cover. 100% of all book royalties are being donated to Not For Sale; a global non profit organization trying to abolish human and sex trafficking. Thank you for your support.