Building the Social Enterprise
By following a few basic principles, organizations can realize the potential of social media to transform their organizations and better engage key internal and external audiences. Recent research shows that although an overwhelming majority of executives say their companies deploy social technologies, few have figured out how to use them in ways that could have a significant and replicable impact throughout the entire enterprise. To get there, there are four principles that should guide their implementation. The first is "add value, not complexity." Social media add the greatest value when they become central to the organization and complement — or, ideally, replace — existing processes. In other words, they should not be distracting "extras" but be embedded into the daily workflow. The second principle is "provide essential organizational support." Leaders must define their objectives, choose the appropriate technologies and then take into account the additional elements of organizational change needed for full support. Third, "experiment and learn." Organizations should adopt approaches that emphasize testing and learning. To this end, any initiative that does not deliver must be deemed a lesson learned and not an outright failure. Finally, the fourth principle that should be used to guide the implementation of social technologies is "track impact and evolve metrics." Such metrics should seek to track social media’s impact on everything from persuading prospects to join as members to aiding future innovation.
McKinsey Quarterly (11/13) Chui, Michael; Dewhurst, Martin; Pollak, Lindsay
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