Last night I attended a panel event on the use of social tools in the workplace organised by head of digital and social for Fishburn Hegdes (@fishburnhedges) (and fellow Gooner) Chris Reed (@chris_reed). The panel consisted of Andrew Grill (@andrewGrill) partner at IBM Interactive and renowned social business thought-leader, Miguel Garcia (@MiguelAngelo) Customer Success Manager for Yammer in London, Ben Matthews (@Benmatthe) Head of strategic communications for eBay in Europe) and Jacobina Plummer (@jacobinaplummer) Global Change & Communications Manager, Agile Working for Unilever.
With the debate on the terminology around what social business is and if it means anything at all to the all important C-Suite, it was really interesting getting the views, real use cases and personal anecdotes of the panel session.
Key takeaways for me:
- In a global organisation with thousands of staff, the use of an internal social network is essentially a ‘can’t live without’ particularly in the modern age of distributed work forces
- The use (or in some cases misuse) of social tools with any organisation relies on those at the very top setting an example
- What qualifies as success differs from organisation to organisation as expectations are very different (obvious but worth stressing)
- Social networks within the firewall should not replace the role of line managers to instilling a sense of purpose for employees but instead serve to augment the organisational culture.
- Agencies and consultancies (thankfully) have a role to play in helping organisations implement best in class practices but need to be able to demonstrate they can ‘walk the walk’ and not just ‘talk the talk’
As organisations continually look to transform themselves in digital age, I suspect we will see these discussions ramp up further on this side of the pond over the next 2 to 3 years. Interesting times as they say.