Tag Archives: Personnel

Why Are People, Processes and Platforms the Three Fundamental P’s of Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0 transformation?

1. People and behavioral changes

People are at the core of any successful organizational and structural company change.  A technological fix vs. a behavioral change remains once and for all, an inane discussion. After companies have established their own “culture”, Enterprise 2.0 will dictate the necessary behavioral changes.  Employees’ motivation and engagement must first be stirred-up by HR and upper management, and then supported for any new collaborating technological implementation or change to flourish.  After a recent study led by the Dachis Group, Harold Jarche used the findings for his article “It Takes Time to be Social”, and rightly points out that “… when asked to assess the overall engagement of employees for the company, more than half responded that only 10-20% of its employees were active…”.  If a company wants its personnel to become more social, management should pave the way first.  They need to lead by collaborating and co-creating themselves otherwise the time and investment expended in a structural change could be entirely wasted.

Employees, teams and task-groups are the driving force inside any organization; they solve problems, create value and drive innovation.  On the other hand, organizational silos thwart collaboration and cut off departments and co-workers from each other. Silos isolate departments, locations and teams while preventing overall company motivation, engagement and higher achievement goals.  A corporate vision, code of conduct and established company culture are fundamental essentials if HR, Controlling and IT are to reach out to sales and marketing, while looking beyond their own responsibilities or department silos. The command-and-control frame of mind that IT traditionally has, will have to be reshaped to enable some sort of a revived technological door-opener (as opposed to the door-keeper) to co-create value to the people-centric enterprise that social business is striving to develop. HR must encourage and develop cross-functional team building if the silo-mentality is to be overcome, so that a genuine Enterprise 2.0 frame of mind can be established.

2. Processes and Business Process Management (BPM)

As Clay Shirky once said: “Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity.”!  Processes should then be proactive and not stifle employees’ creativity with a straitjacket-set of company rules and regulations.  Processes and policies ought to be defined and ratified in order to encourage communication and creativity to flourish. They should protect workers, promote products and services, and dismount company silos.

For new collaborative business processes to be implemented, HR and management should encourage and motivate personnel with the use of gamification; the art of applying game theory and procedures to non-gaming environments.  They ought to motivate, recognize and reward their employees for rethinking and putting forth more efforts into reshaping their own work behavior and modifying their daily routines.

3. Platforms i.e. technologies

In his recent article “Social Collaboration: It’s the people not the technology stupid!”, Steve Dale writes that “most collaboration strategies are treated as technology projects and not organizational development (OD) projects”, again showing that IT can be the troublesome door-keeper.  That’s why many of those projects will most likely fail to bring any social enterprise return on investment (ROI). Adoption rates are poor because again and again technologies and processes often fail to take into account the mandatory and necessary workforce behavioral changes which need to be attached to such implementations. Too many entrepreneurial 2.0 strategies and projects are perceived by employees as a behavioral straitjacket they are forced to put on. The resulting poor rate of adoption is irrefutably proving the fact that implementation is not as successful as the IT Project Managers would have expected it to be.

A company’s workforce is the most important “customer-base asset” it possesses. Traditionally, this workforce is a group of human beings resisting change (don’t we all!). Employees will reluctantly give up familiar territory and only bid farewell to old practices if motivation and rewards are attached to those changes. Technology should remain on the level of a helpful tool.  Its initial roll-out should be introduced mainly by a handful of hand-picked collaborative advocates and Enterprise 2.0 social stars.  The Chief Customer Officer and Community Manager should promote these advocates socially and create new leadership positions for them.  Their conviction, passion and gregarious approach cannot help but motivate and inspire the rest of the community i.e. workforce.  HR should rally all company employees to the cause of this entrepreneurial social project with the support and techniques of gamification, and then evangelize first the human benefits, and second the technological paybacks. Rewarding the early social adopters with incentive programs, bonuses and company perks, will give a new social project implementation its best chance to succeed and exceed the Dachis 10 to 20% average adoption rate!

What incentives and company perks are you giving or planning to give to your employees for the support of a successful roll-out of Enterprise 2.0 social technologies?

Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunogebarski

Related posts to Social Business i.e. Enterprise 2.0:
Why Company Culture is The Foundation to Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0
Understanding the 4 Fundamentals of a Social Business Enterprise 2.0
Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierachy to Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 1)
Humility, a Core Ingredient For Moving From Hierachy to Social Business Enterprise 2.0 Leadership (Part 2)

Why Company Culture is The Foundation To Any Social Business Enterprise 2.0

A social business (Enterprise 2.0) should logically begin its journey with its own people, the backbone/foundation of any enterprise, because here is the potential to transform a workforce into effective “brand evangelists”.  Starbucks did this recently when it invited an effusive group of roughly 10,000 store managers to a 37,000 m² (400,000 square-foot) event in Houston, Texas.  What an experience this must have been to participate in! Starbucks is not known for running internet or television ad-campaigns. What it does do, and what makes this three-day event successful, is to mobilize its employees to become “brand evangelists”, the very sales force assisting caffeine-hungry customers on a daily basis, “the true ambassadors of our brand, the real merchants of romance and theater, and as such the primary catalysts for delighting customers”, Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz wrote in his book, “Onward”.  Howard Schultz is literally marinating his team in a € 28 million (US$ 35 million) three-day event, motivating his store managers and baristas to drink in the Starbucks Coffee state of mind while fully impacting them with the company culture.

1. Creating a compelling company culture

I particularly like the evangelization campaign Howard Schultz is putting his personnel through, knowing that a well motivated group of managers will be much more eager to unleash this power and pass on this freshly acquired caffeine culture to their teams, and then to their customers.  One of the important keys to company culture is to convert employees and make them sincerely believe that their mission is a positive and rewarding one; the intrinsic feeling that they are genuinely needed, appreciated, wanted and cared for. Positive company culture unleashes the motivational and creative power of its people while granting them the purpose, the vision and the energy to bring passion and motivation to their daily work.

2. Employee engagement and creativity

In order to promote employee engagement and creativity, Angelo Fernando recommends hiring misfits and troublemakers, people who will purposely avoid doing things the way a company has always done them and who will tend to get “under your skin”.  Professor Robert Sutton adds: “In order to foster creativity we should hire misfits, goad them to fight and pay them to defy convention and undermine the prevailing culture.”  This ought to create healthy confrontations, shake the status-quo and bring in fresh and unconventional ideas to talk about and discuss.


Disruptive technologies give socially-minded enterprises the momentum to challenge the norms and search out cultural disruption and creativity. Those companies become employee-centric and create a company culture their co-workers want to identify with, believe in, but most importantly, represent and evangelize.

3. Turning your work force into brand evangelists

An evangelist is an individual who delivers something; a service-oriented person.  He or she could be, for example, the person delivering a Domino Pizza to your doorstep. Too many companies, however, forget the simple fact that the most likely people to represent a brand and carry out its message (i.e. culture) to the customers, is its own workforce.  If a genuine company culture does not exist, what should its work force then represent? What are the co-workers standing for? What should they believe in? What is their mission, purpose and how do they remain motivated? Doesn’t the Bible teach us about people perishing because of not having a vision?

4. Happy Customers and resulting company profit 

We all have been to Starbucks. They brand our drinks with names their staff have been “smoothly” teaching us over the years as we patiently wait in line for our order. Going to one of their café’s is a bit of a ceremony, a coffee ritual connected to a willing sacrifice, providing us with the drink of our liking within the shortest time possible; a delightful way to start or finish the day depending on our coffee drinking habits!  The results? Howard Schultz’ company profit must be more than acceptable to allow his Group to invest in a 3-days € 28 million (US$ 35 million) event.  Well done Starbucks!  Carry on with the coffee flame and we will keep on sponsoring your services and products!

What are the creative (and possibly disruptive) ways your company incorporates in order to foster creativity, promote company culture and motivate personnel? We are certainly looking forward to your comments.

Follow Bruno Gebarski on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BrunoGebarski@brunogebarski or on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brunogebarski