I agree with this statement – Culture Eats Strategy For Lunch. Not sure who coined the term but I first heard it from Sandy Carter, VP of Social Business from IBM last year.
While I agree that culture change is more important than a business strategy, I also believe that culture change must be a business strategy.
In my view, it needs to be the driving force for any and all business strategies, specifically for social business initiatives. They cannot be separate. Process and governance are certainly important. Technology is imperative and will help facilitate collaboration; but it’s behavior change that is the foundation for adoption.
In the following study, “The Economics of A Fully Engaged Enterprise” (their definition is close to that of a social business) by PulsePoint Group, 32% of senior executives report that an unclear strategy for change is a roadblock for social business adoption:
I would also argue that most of the other reasons suggested above all revolve around the cultural norms, behaviors and values that live behind the firewall. When something needs fixed, changed or persuaded, many times it helps to start at the foundation of the business – organizational behavior (culture).
Here are some additional highlights from the study:
- The average return on social engagement was calculated to be between 3-5%. The most engaged businesses are reporting a calculated 7.7% business impact specifically from social engagement, which is four times the performance of the lowest performers who only achieved a 1.9% estimated return.
- The top two areas where executives thought social engagement had real value were improved marketing and sales effectiveness (84%) and increased sales and market share (81%
- Executive advocacy is critical, now and in the future. Two-thirds of the organizations achieving the highest returns reported that their C-suites are active advocates– that is, they commit to social engagement as a strategy and they reallocate resources to make it happen.
- Executives defined social engagement today as online listening (28%), blogging (24%) and building relationships with online influencers (21%). But the top performers have a different view – they will be more focused on ideas and action in the next two years. Big-return companies crowdsource new products (57%), or let customers participate in developing ideas — they are predicting a significant portion of new products will be derived from social engagement insights.
Image: Big Stock Photo – Overcoming Barriers