The SOCIAL Shift

Observations on how social connectivity is changing the workplace. And the world. Views expressed here are my own.
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I woke up to a hyperactive phone this morning. It was vibrating incessantly because an internal crowdsourcing initiative launched overnight for me (during the day in Asia). They generated about 700 ideas in the first 7 hours! Exciting to see the high level of interest. It will be interesting to review the positive outcomes and lessons to learn from this latest deployment.



Maker’s Mark embraces social amid backlash 

(via Maker’s Mark’s Nifty Footwork | Digiday)

A friend of Emma’s works @ Beam and came to visit us a few weeks before all this brouhaha. She told me about the Maker’s Mark fan club, and I signed up before this all happened. The way they handled the backlash about the 3% dilution was really top notch. 

I thought this was a good example of leaders being willing to listen to the community built around a brand and reacting accordingly. The article correctly points out how pre-work, perhaps via an ambassador network, could have avoided the outcry.


Businesses that want to be successful in the world created by the perpetually connected will have to:
  • Overhaul their technology — all of it: consumer-facing digital products, services, and support;  technology to equip employees;  in-store technology; sales process and delivery chain
  • Hire people across the company who understand how digital interactivity affects their business role.
  • Evolve internal processes to incorporate new talent and technology in the most effective and efficient ways possible.
  • Restructure departments to implement these new processes in the smartest ways.
  • Rethink how and what they forecast, measure, and budget for.
  • Retrain their employees not just on these new processes and how to use the technology at their disposal but also on the speed and kind of service the new customer demands, whether that service is being delivered digitally, on the phone, or in person.

via Melissa Parrish, Forrester Research 

and other intranet trends from @NNgroup.

Today’s fortune came from Marsh Cochran Sutherland of Lincoln, MA. Marsh is an experienced Boston area startup founder and a proven social media marketing evangelist. He is known for his many award-winning startups including: FriendFlirt,…

Change. Often discussed. In many cases when it’s impending. This post talks about some of the overlooked elements of change.

You can’t rely solely on technology to build your personal network. Especially at work. You’re surrounded by smart, interesting people. Take the time to meet them. Like this program that Boehringer Ingelheim set up to help match employees for blind date lunches.

Principles of a Social Business Strategist
Author: Greg Lowe,

Over the past 4 years, I’ve seen some incred­i­ble suc­cess­es imple­ment­ing social busi­ness solu­tions both per­son­al­ly and from my peers. As I look for my next oppor­tu­ni­ty to drive social busi­ness inside of orga­ni­za­tions, I want­ed to…

Many of the principles in this article guide me as I consult co-workers with a variety of goals on how to use social collaboration internally. Key themes: work to make them successful, don’t over-sell social.

Author: Alan Hamilton,

I con­sid­er a Social Busi­ness to be one which har­ness­es the power of social net­work­ing tech­nol­o­gy to aid col­lab­o­ra­tion and deci­sion mak­ing in orga­ni­za­tions. I see this as the mod­ern exten­sion of Knowl­edge Man­age­ment which wa…

A loaded question? Perhaps. I too think social business has a future. To fully realize the benefits of smarter systems, I see an important next step in helping people understand why changing the way they work is valuable, not just for the company or for colleagues, but for them. It’s critical because the potential benefits rely on a critical mass of information in these systems. That will only be achieved if it becomes the default way of doing business. Community managers, intranet leaders, collaboration and knowledge management professionals, we have work to do.

The Rise of the Social CEO within Enterprise 2.0
Author: Bill Ives,


• Collaboration
• Consumerization


So here we are at Enter­prise 2.0 in Boston. I will be report­ing on it on this blog over the next few days. I recent­ly found an inter­est­ing relat­ed study. As report­ed …

The interesting part of this article for me is not so much the CEO’s role in a social organization (as important as that is). Rather the important role that data plays. The amount of data you can extract from people and turn that into insights is invaluable. It’s useful in promoting a healthy community and in demonstrating to skeptics where there is value.

Three “facts” about social business are accepted without question by most people. That any business with a Facebook page or Twitter account is considered “social”; that hiring a social media person constitutes a social “presence”; that implementing an intranet transforms the organization into a “collaborative” enterprise. Now that I‘ve used up my allocation of quotation marks, I’m going to explain why these facts are pure myths.