Re-Imagine the Organization

I am beginning to focus in on where I want to take E Quint Consulting. I am beginning to see that there is a real opportunity in bring a “Social Media” approach to almost any business function or process. When I say social media approach, I am not referring to the technology but the attitude and behaviors exhibited by those that have used social media effectively and productively. My new tag phrase is:

Re-imagine the organization with Social Media.

From this perspective you can quickly move into how social media can lead to significant changes in:

  • R&D
  • Sales
  • Human Resources
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Management
  • Customer Service

To date most of the focus of social media has been on how it can change Marketing. The enterprise 2.0 movement is beginning to show how a social media approach can impact other operational areas, but the focus there tends to be more on the technology than the behaviors.

With E Quint, I want to focus onthe behaviors and attitudes surrounding

  • business process
  • operations
  • decision making

and figure out how a more open mindset to listening and sharing information can fundamentally reshape the structure of an organization.

Enterprise Communications Strategy

Enterprise Communications Strategy has a nice ring to it. That is what I want to do.

So what is “Enterprise Communications” and how is it different from “Corporate Communications”? I think we all have a picture of Corp. Comms, the mouthpiece of the company. That is not what I am talking about. For me Enterprise Communications is about little “c” communications. It is about looking at the fundamentals and asking what is the purpose of communications, and what is the best way to communicate. It is about looking at the mission/vision/objectives of the enterprise and figuring out how to align the way an organization communicates with the M/V/O. It is more about listening than talking. It is about connecting with people, or as Scoble says, putting a human face on the organization.

In many cases the solutions will lie in social media, but not always. So ECS is not just another euphemism for social media, but social media may well be a tactic of a good Enterprise Communications Strategy.

I see ECS as dealing with communication both inside and outside the firewall. Doesn’t it make sense that an organization use the same principles of communications for employees and customers?

I like where this is going. More thoughts to come…

The Impact of Social Media

I spent most of today reading (and re-reading) a lot of material about social media while working on a presentation. As I looked back over what I read, I started to rethink, what is the impact of social media on the enterprise. (For clarity, I am using “social media” here to mean the conversation that is occuring outside the firewall.)

The traditional thinking has been (at least my thinking) that social media has leveled the playing field between the underdog consumer and the imperialist corporation, allowing the little guy to fight back.

But now I think that nothing quite so machiavelian is happening. I work in a big company, and I have yet to meet anyone that has designs on taking over the world, or even fooling the customer. For the most part everyone is trying to do the right thing. I think what gets in the way, and is viewed externally so poorly, is just the inherent bureaucracy and friction that exists inside most organizations. It always looks worse from the outside than it does from the inside.

Where this is taking me is transparency. Even though social media is ostensibly an outside the enterprise phenomenon, what I believe is happening is that information that has trouble traveling through inside channels, escapes and travels rapidly on the outside and re-enters the organization at another point; therefore leading to changes more readily. Where it looks like social media is driving the change, the fact is that social media is merely facilitating the change that is having trouble happening via internal processes.

My conclusion therefore is that organizations should embrace social media as a way to improve and move forward, as opposed to an enemy to be faced.

SlideShare Post

I just posted my first SlideShare presentation. What a cool service. The presentation is called Social Media is… I created the presentation as a way to express what I believe to be the significant elements of Social Media, from an organizational perspective. I have to give a hat tip to Scott Gavin and Simon Revell for inspiring me with their Meet Charlie presentation. I also want to thank Presentation Zen for introducing me to the concepts of a different approach to doing presentations.