Why Some Organizations Sink Before They Get To Social

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.



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