Holistic management practices are a core component to Business Process Management (BPM). Holistic management promotes the alignment of all aspects of an organization with the wants and needs of its people and customers. In my opinion, the Wikipedia word “client” ought to be replaced with “co-workers” or “people”. Holistic leadership should provide effectiveness, efficiency, innovation, flexibility and integration with technology, thus differentiating itself from the more traditional hierarchical management style.
I remember the Salesforce.com presentation I attended in Hamburg a few months ago. Salesforce showcased all their newest acquisitions and the customer-experience improvements it would bring, if companies would just be willing to transform their unconnected and unsocial CRM into a more connected and Social CRM (SCRM) infrastructure. Salesforce has adeptly adorned itself with a buffet of social attributes, transforming itself into a model Social CRM “software” trendsetter pursued and emulated by IBM and Oracle to name just a few.
In his excellent article “Employee Engagement and Control Don’t Mix”, Jamie Notter (@jamienotter) reminds us that hierarchical control can not and will not promote employee’s engagement. An employee’s commitment should be addressed as the most strategic channel of collaboration, contribution, promotion and distribution, influencing all areas within an organization. In his December 2011 article “Collaboration Is a Strategic Initiative” Kaijus Asteljoki (@KaijusAsteljoki) sums it up perfectly: To get collaboration right you need to do much more than just implement an IT solution such as an enterprise wide document sharing platform, instant messaging solution or business video environment...
Often marketers, technologists and IT-leaders forget the main component of an effective holistic leadership campaign. The fundamental key ingredient necessary for the successful roll-out and implementation of a technological project is the “buy in” of its people. The best of all tools could be thrown at the feet of any workforce with the highest holistic intentions, hopes and expectations but will be to no avail if the people (you and I) refuse to use it. And here we are at the foundation of how it all starts; it starts with people and certainly not the technology. I refuse to implement content marketing and social media solutions if a client is not willing to first develop a company culture and learn to care for its employees! So let’s review the four necessary steps before considering rolling out any enterprise social technologies.
People are at the core of any enterprise architecture. They create the dynamics and are the true brand ambassadors representing and communicating the vision, mission and goals accompanying the company culture engraved in their heart! They are the Googlers and Zapposians employees proud to identify with their company’s vision and dreams. They collaborate with each other, communicate and transport this message to their colleagues and customers on a daily basis. The sky is the limit for such companies having taken the time to develop a real company culture among their workforce.
It is much easier to establish processes, codes of conduct and ratify social media strategies once a company has identified its community leaders and empowered them with the enterprise culture, vision, and corporate goals. The physical act of creating processes should naturally derive from a peer collaboration-type of family spirit. It should facilitate the necessary ratifying of company codes of conduct and protocols. Document sharing should become the norm; “one-to-many” (email and telephone) will be replaced by “many-to-many” communication platforms thanks to enterprise social tools.
3. Information and Knowledge Management (KM)
Once the company social stars have been discovered and the process improvements identified, it should become easier to converse, remove silos and bridge departments fostering a genuine spirit of collaboration for ongoing context-based information sharing.
Last but not least, the technology choices. It is now time to identify the necessary tools and devices which will assist people, processes and information sharing. A vast array of technology is available: unified communications such as VoIP, text, instant messaging/chat, IP PBX, video-conferencing, screen sharing, BYOD and mobile integration are only a small part of what is technically possible. Having already identified the “People”, “Processes” and “Information”, it will be much easier for community leaders to choose and implement the appropriate technological tools to assist its people, the processes and information sharing.
Are you developing your company culture? Where are you on your journey to becoming a social enterprise 2.0? Give us your thoughts and we will include them in upcoming social business strategy articles.