Posts Tagged ‘Social Executive Council’

Calling All Social Business Visionaries

December 6th, 2010

If you are a senior executive who get “social business” we need you to come into the Social Executive Council (LinkedIn Group) as a first stage introduction (with over 20% of the Fortune 100 represented at the senior exec level – it is rapidly becoming the core group for senior execs in this area), then read our blog in depth to see how we fit into the bigger enterprise strategy, and then talk with Judy to see how we can help you own this for your organization and eventually your market. 

The good news/bad news is that we are rapidly becoming overwhelmed with people who could potentially be interested in building a social business plan/organization/etc. that we need a way to filter the early adopters from the people who are just merely interested.

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Introducing the Social Business Office

November 3rd, 2010

Social Business Office (SBO) is a centralized, internal consulting organization tasked with managing the cross-functional social business initiatives across an enterprise. The SBO acts as a hybrid organizations that provides internal consulting to business units and functional departments to coordinate initiatives across functional groups.

As many social business initiatives span across multiple enterprise functions, many organizations have struggled to implement the right business structure to manage these initiatives. The decentralized model is grossly inefficient, while a centralized organization is not sufficiently nimble enough for complex initiatives. The SBO model enables organizations to centralize planning, but decentralize execution.
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Defining the Social CIO

April 30th, 2010

I spoke at SIM Atlanta last week on behalf of the Social Executive Council (SEC) with Dan Webber, CIO at Avery Partners and VP of the SEC. I was the stand in for Judy, who is the President of the SEC. Our discussion was on the difference between Social Media Policies and Social Governance. This was a first part in a series on the Social CIO. It has been amazing to me how receptive CIOs are to the idea of socially enabling the enterprise. As much as I speak and write to the Social CMOs, approximately 1/3 of the SEC members are CIOs. CIOs are an important part of the social enablement movement. I believe a critical one as I do not believe organizations can do this without cross-functional coordination.

For SIM Atlanta, we started the presentation last week with a strong statement about what is a Social CIO:

If you believe that the social disruption will impact the enterprise:

  • Role of CIO and IT must evolve
  • Information management will now encompass the adoption, motivation, and collaboration around the distribution of information.
  • IT Architectures will need to take into account for the fluid nature of social interactions (unstructured) and the overwhelming amount of information (contextualization and filtering) to handle the real-time needs of their organizations
  • The IT organization that can absorb this and lead the transformation will be strengthened within the organization.
  • The IT organizations that cannot keep up will be marginalized.
  • The Social CIO is architect for the social enablement of the enterprise


What we didn’t do last week was outline the areas that will be impacted by the Social CIO, here are the 5 areas that we believe are the starting point:

  • Social Architecture – defining the next generation of information architecture to support the fluid information needs of the socially enabled enterprise
  • Social Experience – building the platform to support the socially enabled customer lifecycle; includes CRM, contact centers, sales and marketing support
  • Social Intelligence – integrating the wealth of behavioral information that is generated within online communities and social interactions. Think the ability to differentiate between browsers and shoppers or better qualify leads.
  • Enterprise Social Search – Defining the ability to find information or expertise across the enterprise. Now add the complexity that the organization may or may not own the information, it may be in the “cloud” and it may be unstructured. How do you build a roadmap to manage the ability for your organization to find stuff in a socially enabled enterprise?
  • Social Governance – It governance is about protecting the information and intellectual property assets of the organization, about bringing a systematic approach to leverage and consuming technology resources, and planning IT initiatives in a structured way. Social governance takes that to the next level in how do you manage structure in an unstructured environment. How do you define IP when the content is user generated? Who owns a relationship when it is done under the corporate aegis, but is done through a personal Linkedin account? Where does personal end and professional begin? You can’t answer these questions till you have a Social Governance plan to map your corporate assets, understand what will be socially enabled, how you will manage the distribution process, measure and monitor it, and make sure that you can effectively communicate responsibilities to it.

Social CIOs are figuring out that they are just at the crawl stage in terms of socially enabling the organization. The good news is that they don’t have to do it alone, as a matter of fact, they aren’t alone, and they are in good company as most companies are still crawling. The real problem for Social CIOs is that many of their companies are starting to walk and run in social marketing. If they don’t get their social architectural planning established quickly, they may find the resulting unstructured chaos may become permanent.

Are Your Social Network Groups Democracies or Dictatorships?

March 20th, 2010

We recently started a group on Linkedin called Social Executive Council, SEC. The stated purpose:

Social Executive Council (SEC) is a Invitation-only, Executive Officer (CXO) or senior executives with social strategy or social media responsibility (Director and Above). The purpose of the group is to explore the definition of social market leadership; the social transformation of the various enterprise lifecycles; customer, operational, product, information, and employee that drive the market success and corporate valuation of an organization. This group will be focused on social enablement of the organization from a strategy perspective. We propose the exchange of ideas around development of social strategy, social execution, and social measurement with associated ROI. By opening the discussion to social strategy executives and their respective internal customers, we hope to empower a more substantive dialogue about how to leverage social media, web 2.0, online community, and collaboration technologies.

Our thinking was that we wanted to create a forum for executive level thought leadership to get away from the social media monitoring tools discussions that we found prevalent out on the web and almost every social media event that we go… Not that I don’t think that tools are important, but I have people on our team that work with them on a daily basis. My focus is working through the business strategy to enable organizations to take advantage of the social technologies to create competitive advantage.

When we launched the group, we knew that there were a lot of social media “groups” out there, but very few targeted to Social Strategists and the Executive Teams they service. We thought by keeping it to a VP level that we would keep it strategic. We knew that many of the Enterprise Social Strategy thought leaders were still at the Director level.

The good news is that it has exploded. The bad news is that it kicked off an interesting dilemna that I thought I would share. See, my partner, Judy Mod, is running the online group, soon to launch the non-profit organization and begin recruiting chapter presidents. I am staying “home” to run Social Gastronomy and make sure that we deliver on our promise of socially enabing the organization. We are consultants who run a business of consulting.

I have been helping out with the membership and requests for invitation to the group until the board can be formed. The toughest thing that I have found is to say “no” to potential members who don’t qualify. It is real simple… if you are a CXO/EVP/SVP/VP of a major company, many of the Fortune 500, you want to engage with your peers and rockstar social thought leaders. If I am going to invest my time in a group, I want a return on that investment. I also want to engage with people who look like me or who can process at my level.

So, I made the mistake of letting in some social thought leaders who were not Director level. Best of intentions as they did have some really good backgrounds, but we got called on it from a couple of organizations that complained that their teams were not allowed in. They were right. You make a rule, you have to uniformly enforce it. One manager was extremely upset when I had to revoke membership. I can’t blame them. I personally apologized. I felt horrible and it still bothers me. I openend a discussion thread in the group to discuss whether the level defined was the right one.

We set up the group with an expressed position that for it to work, we needed to open it up to Senior Execs or Social Strategists to have a forum to engage with peers and rock-star strategists. To get that caliber of player, we needed a combination of exclusivity in role in organization, but inclusivity in terms of competitors. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to bring in my blogging or my business in that forum because it would be seen as self-serving.

It brings an interesting point; which now I am getting to… where is that line of opening the community up to the market and maintaining the stated focus for your business. On our end, we started the group because we wanted the credibility and a forum for our thought leadership. We are not completely altruistic as we need to eventually translate our IP and thought leadership into paid consulting services.

On the other hand, we know the audience would not tolerate ANY sales messages. They want education. If they need you, they now know about you, AND they will let you know if they are interested in talking with you. In essence, we created a democracy within the group to foster an open communications platform. We get to participate and influence as founders and members at large.

We made a delineation from the activities in running the group from our business as a compromise and recognition of the need for demonstrated integrity. This blog is my company’s to write more extensively and to share my thoughts on trends and situations that come up in our business. Interesting to the group, maybe, but they will need to come visit our website to read our blog. We wouldn’t do anything that smacked of inequality versus the other consulting firms in the group as we would lose credibility towards the stated purpose.

Additionally, the feedback from the senior execs in the larger companies is that they want a balance of peer discussions, but welcome consultants as long as it doesn’t turn into a sales pitch or they get hounded. They recognize they need consultants, but want to be able to choose when to engage with them and how.

This is pretty consistent with what we are seeing in the market. Almost any market that you go into, you can see a wide spectrum of communities, forums, groups, blogs, lists, etc. hosted by vendors, publications, associations, or enthusiasts. I think that the best of the lot understand that they can’t be extreme on either end of the spectrum… too wide open where the core target is disenfranchised with the noise or selling, but also where it is open enough to promote free and engaging discussion.

The problem with static websites is exactly that… someone said “where on your website do you post which projects that you screwed up?” No one does… The value of social media is that peer validation and credentialling that comes from broader, free discussion.

The other side, is that companies don’t create these forums or groups for completely altrustic reasons. At some point, thought leadership and engagement needs to convert to leads and pipelines. Even non-profits need transactions.

My recommendation in setting up communities is really take a look at the competitive landscape, your real objectives, and the key players in the market to determine what is the appropriate level of “openeness” that makes sense. A public group is more open by nature than a private, branded community.

If I invite you into my home, make sure to take your shoes off…. house rules. Well, actually my wife’s… but you get the point…