Social is a funny thing. While the media hype is perhaps dying down, the debates about social are very, very active. Much of that talk is about where the value really lies or if there truly is value in the concept of a social enterprise.
I can’t speak for everyone, but in my workday, social plays a very important role. It has completely replaced email for the broadcast messages, requests for information, and back-and-forth on product features and marketing. It is far easier to go back and find a conversation, and far easier to tune out something that isn’t relevant. I don’t know what I’d do without it.
It isn’t all pretty. There is some amount of grandstanding and politics and there are a few voices that are heard far more than any others (just like non-social), but that’s not the whole story. On our platform much of the work is done in private groups that I’ll never see. Highly efficient, this allows work to get done without cluttering the tool for thousands of people. It is brilliant, actually.
In a great article, McKinsey looks at the internal and external aspects of social media at work. The McKinsey Global Institute’s report, The social economy: Unlocking value and productivity through social techniques does a great job of quantifying the value to the workforce at between 20 and 25% (see image, below).
McKinsey draws the conclusion that to find this value, “…organizations must transform their structures, processes, and cultures: They will need to become more open and non-hierarchical and to create a culture of trust.”
That’s a great reason that for many companies, social will take a great deal of time. Culture is the bedrock of every enterprise and social will have a disruptive effect. There are places where social will be fought tooth and nail. There are places where it will be embraced.
It will be fascinating to see who becomes the haves and who stays the have-nots. It may correlate well with success…