I recently had the honor or sitting in the hot seat in the weekly Twitter #MediaChat, hosted by Aaron Kilby (@kilby76), held every Thurs at 10pm ET, featuring guests on social and online media.



In this chat, we discussed how to help leaders engage in social and the future of communications at work (#NewWayToWork), diving into the new IBM Verse, a complete re-imagination of email (+social + analytics + cloud +mobile +enterprise social collaboration + calendar + tasks).


We started off around discussing why it’s so important that leaders, particularly executive leaders, engage in digital; we then transitioned to tips and recommendations; and then transitioned into answering questions about IBM’s focus on a re-imagination of communications in today’s mobile, connected, social workplace.


The community was incredibly lively, with about 2,000 tweets, so it’s not feasible to capture the entire replay here….


I pulled out the questions and my responses below. The community had lots of fantastic inputs, tips and comments – you can see the full replay at https://www.hashtracking.com/reports/TakeOutTech/MediaChat/JimClaussen (click on the “Transcript’) tab.


I really want to thank Aaron for inviting me on and I want to thank the community for such incredibly smart inputs and contributions. I would encourage you to look through the full replay to see everyone’s shares.



Q1: Why should leaders, particularly executive leaders, engage in social?

Social media and social business platforms provide leaders the opportunity to reach more people and have a larger/deeper impact

Social provides a platform for leaders to engage their teams, their customers, their stakeholders directly

It’s about creating a sense of accessibility to build credibility and trust.

Engaging in social gives leaders the opportunity to listen for signals of unmet needs.

What’s great about social is that it’s a powerful way for leaders to shape (lead) both the culture & brand of their organization

Today, leaders (and their workforce) ARE the brand. It’s about leading by example and role modeling a path in today’s connected economy.

In social, leaders can share their purpose & mission. People want to align with values they believe in.

Q2: What recommendations would you give leaders or people coaching leaders to better engage in social?

It really starts with the mindset and a few key guiding principles, I call the Blue Unicorn roadmap…

A few key guides: have a point of view, be authentic, provide context, share mission & purpose, tell stories… say ‘thank you’

Start small and build. Schedule it on the calendar. Shift away from closed email comms to open interactive engagement.

I think of it this way… each step forward builds repetition. Repetition builds habit. Habit builds momentum.

Q3: Today, many leaders (and teams) tend to live in a world of email. How can leaders begin to shift into social collaboration environments? 

Well, the first step is to be intentional about creating and nurturing a culture of collaboration, sharing and social.

Second step is to put in place a business social collaboration environment, like IBM Connections.

Third step is for leadership to lead their organization in small steps…. People model leadership behavior, role modeling is an accelerator

Shift newsletters into a blog = from a one directional bast to an interactive dialog of inclusion

Shift executive communications into more ‘social’ formats like video = builds personal connection & engagement

Shift brainstorming from closed rooms to chat forums = great ideas can come from anywhere & everyone can make great inputs

Shift attaching files to email to centralizing one master file inside a collaboration platform = always available, it’s always the current version

With a social collaboration environment, I’ve gone from 4 hrs of email/day to 4 hours of email/week and I get more done.

Q4: Recently, IBM launched a new email platform called IBM Verse. How is this a shift into the future of communication?

IBM Verse is amazing and as you can see, I’m not a fan of email. Verse is really a reimagination of communication = email+social.

Verse is about focusing on what matters, with the people that are most important to your work

It sounds cliche, but IBM Verse helps you work smarter because it uses analytics to help you prioritize and remove the clutter

We think of it as a #newwaytowork, in the cloud, mobile first, analytics powered – it works for you (not the other way around ;).

The future of communication is about exchanges between people, some interactions 1:1, some interactions open in social. All in one place.

IBM Verse integrates with IBM Connections so it’s less about sending/receiving & more about cooperation/collaboration.

Anyone can sign up for free access at ibm.com/verse

Q5: Looking at the people side of adopting new tools like IBM Verse, how can people help their organizations shift to this future of communication? That tips can you share?

Adoption starts with culture. Tools are easy. Changing behaviors and entrenched patterns is more challenging ;).

What I’ve seen is that you have to be very purposeful about change management & it has to start with the “why”

Help people understand ‘what’s in it for them personally’. From there, it grows.

It’s important to lead, then lead some more. Educate, train, support.

Look for early adopters and foster peer support. “Leaders” can come from all levels in an organization.

Q6: One cool feature of IBM Verse is ‘mute the thread.’ What email conversations do you wish you could mute?

Ha… all of the threads where the discussion is better supported in a social collaboration platform.

I’m sure the community here has some great personal examples currently filling their inbox.

Q7: Why is IBM so focused on rethinking email and communication? Why is this so important?

In product development, we have shifted to a Design Thinking approach which leads to a new way of looking at things

We engage with thousands of clients & have opportunity to observe what diminishes productivity…. email is high on that list.

We’ve also observed proliferation of multiple apps (email, text, chat, phones, social…). Verse pulls it all together.

For us, it’s about convergence of analytics, cloud, engagement, security in our on-the-go socially-connected world

It’s really about a focus on helping people take back their workday to focus on what really matters & make real impact

I would encourage people to go deeper at ibm.com/verse to really see what re-imagination looks like.

Q8: Getting tactical, when is email communication best and when is social collaboration communication best? Do you have some specific actionable tips?

Email is great for 1:1 or 1-to-few confidential direct asynchronous communications.

Email can also be appropriately used for alerts and triggers, to pull people into a social space, a community, a blog, a wiki, a forum.

Social collaboration communication is best for brainstorming, sharing strategy & guidance, interactive discussion, realtime exchange.

Because social collaboration is open, the unexpected possibilities of ‘serendipity’ surface better ideas & innovation.

What’s interesting inIBM Verse, is that the boundaries become seamless and integrated so you can communicate at your best

Q9: Finally, what trends are you seeing with leadership in social and the future of work? Where are we heading?

We are seeing that people want to work with & buy from brands with leaders who are in social articulating the brand’s culture & mission

For leaders, digital intelligence is the new emotional intelligence >> analytics & social savvy.

For future of work, social will connect teams with customers and crowdsourced ideation will drive new innovation, at speed.

For future of work, analytics will increasingly help us focus &  uncover the right information at the right time

There are very interesting possibilities coming as we integrate IBM Watson into IBM Verse

As the workplace shifts to a flexible me-as-a-service agile structure, people will be increasingly connected, working from wherever they are.

Organizations that collaborate through social, led by digitally engaged executives, will have the connectedness to thrive.

For sure there are exciting times ahead for technology, but it will always be about people engaging with people H2H


Event Connect App

A What You Need To Know Special
The IBM InterConnect Event Connect App

The AskJim Podcast
Providing answers to user questions about IBM Connections

With IBM InterConnect 2015 coming up, now is the time to begin planning your agenda, your networking and your participation with intention. To make this event count for you… you need to be smart about it and you need a smart tool that can really help you zero in on the right sessions and connect with the right people.

As with all events, purposeful pre-planning pays dividends in ensuring you get the most out of your time and get the most value from the event for your business goals.

So, for this special “what you need to know” episode, I wanted to focus exclusively on the IBM Event Connect App.

Headphones  36In this episode (featuring an inside interview with the product team), we cover: Continue Reading…

#SBizHour #6 — Enterprise Collaboration

 A weekly live Google Hangout and Twitter Chat with thought leaders in social business. 

I recently had the pleasure of returning to the Social Business Hour for a second time to talk about one of my favorite topics – Enterprise Collaboration. Brian Fanzo and Rachel Miller, hosted a nice discussion, along with Tom Skotidas, diving into activating employees, clients and partners as brand advocates; sparking a startup mentality; and reshaping organizational culture to thrive in today’s connected economy. I had a great time… I wish we had more than an hour ;).

Hope you find the discussion, stories, shared experiences and debate helpful.





Why Organizations Sink 400

“My CEO just doesn’t get it”

“We have very little participation in our Community”

“My manager says he doesn’t have time”

“Email works just fine, why do we need to use something new”

“Interest was high in the beginning, and then participation just started falling off”

“We can’t get our executives to participate”




The Kraken of Change


At IBM ConnectED, there seemed to be a story thread where people, teams, organizations hit the proverbial progression wall as they work to shift their organizations into a more connected and collaborative work place. Challenges with adoption seemed to resonate on Twitter, people shared challenges in ChalkTalk sessions, and several of the speaker sessions centered around shifting to social business.


A big takeaway for me was that change comes with resistance and that evolving to smarter ways of working, require intention and purposeful training and cultural cultivation.


For kicks, I ran my notes through a text cloud analysis. The biggest words staring back at me:

    • Adoption
    • Participation
    • Understand
    • Why
    • Struggle
    • Culture

Interesting. So many people facing similar challenges. Getting 2,500 (or so) people together to talk about it, the aha stands out like ALL CAPS on a page.


The technology is evolving at increasing rates, to user inputs, toward ever greater awesomness. I was so impressed with both Verse and Connections Next (#IwantNowPlease), but what’s nagging me is that there are stories that keep repeating as the technologies seem to be outpacing the rate at which many organizations can absorb them. This is a natural challenge.




There Are No Shortcuts


Many organizations are achieving great success, but it comes with intention and effort. They didn’t get there by accident, there were no shortcuts. Many organizations, however, struggle in achieving those outcomes, or they are not getting there fast enough… and that’s what draws my attention. I feel compelled to want to help.




So what do you do?


How do you help your organization reach the shores of success? How do you lead a shift into digital? How do you transform an organization to thrive in today’s social, connected, collaboration economy?


This is what I will be focusing on in the soon-to-be-launched Social Leaders TV; a weekly series with the aim of helping leaders, teams and organizations achieve success with social business, digital engagement and digital commerce solutions. We’re going to be talk culture,…not tech, approaches, not apps… the why and the how.




Why is this important?


Because the success the pacesetters are achieving is game changing:

  • Increased sales
  • Decreased cost of marketing
  • Decreased cost of customer acquisition
  • Increased loyalty and customer retention
  • Decreased operating costs
  • Decreased travel costs
  • Increased retention of top talent
  • More effective, right fit, top talent acquisition
  • Outpacing competition in an influence and multi-channel experience shopping environment
  • Increased brand reach
  • Faster decision making
  • Greater agility in the marketplace
  • Better understanding of customer needs
  • Etc. Etc. Etc. The list is long…..


How do I know? I see it every day with IBM’s clients and partners. I see it in independent analyst studies. I see it in research findings. I see it in the pacesetter data from thousands of our clients around the globe. I personally live and experience it every day in the choices I make as a citizen, as a consumer, as a person actively engaged in digital and social fascinated by the intersection of age old psychology and emerging digital and about how humanity can embrace digital in the face of fundamental truths to the human experience.




Upgrading to social – the life boat to shore


Seeming truths:

  • people resist change
  • culture is shaped
  • trust breeds participation
  • people follow what leaders do
  • habit is built through repetition & consistency
  • we all want to get stuff done
  • and time is the universal measure of everything



I will be covering these and other seeming truths and insights learned from many many successful organizations. Sharing what I have observed and what has helped others… I hope to help you navigate the process of adoption and successfully reach your desired destination.


Stay tuned for the launch of Social Leaders TV


In the meantime, you can get valuable insights and information over at executivesocialacademy.com.


You can learn more about IBM’s digital engagement, collaboration and commerce solutions over at ibm.com/socialbusiness.



What you need to know for IBM ConnectED

Special AskJim Podcast Episode

The AskJim Podcast Providing 5 minute answers to user questions about IBM Connections
This is the exclusive podcast focused on IBM Connections – the #1 ranked business collaboration platform.

With IBM ConnectED 2015 coming up, now is the time to begin planning your agenda and participation with intention. The event will be jam packed with many sessions running in parallel tracks. My experience is that purposeful pre-planning pays dividends in ensuring you optimize your time and get the most value from the event.

Tip – Pre-Plan and Pre-book your meetings. Don’t just show up and wing it.

In this special episode of the AskJim Podcast, featuring questions from listener Kristi, we talk about key tips and insights on what’s new in this year’s conference and how you can maximize your time and value.

Headphones  36In this episode, we cover:
(1) Transportation tips
(2) ChalkTalk schedules (NEW)
(3) TechnOasis (NEW)
(4) The 7 session tracks
(5) The Session Preview Tool (NEW)
(6) Special Partner sessions


Coming to a city near you to help your teams, your clients, your partners and organizations new to engaging in today’s digital economy. These are fun, approachable thought leadership events with some of the unexpected, great networking connections and insights on how to get started.

The next #BeMobileWorkSocial Symposium cities and dates will be announced at ConnectED.

Look for the special T-Shirts and Postcards.