Of course, new technology will continue to flood our lives in alpha, beta and full rollout versions, but they are mostly all incremental changes or consolidation of features. Marketing departments and agencies will stretch our imaginations with fantastic ways of looking at products and services. However, the most powerful innovation of the next generation should/will come from Human Resources.
The tools are only as valuable as the people using them (a hammer swung does not make a carpenter). Human Resources focuses on the organization’s most critical asset: people. They are one of few departments with horizontal reach across organizations, goals and culture. They also can be the catalyst to possibly the most important innovation of this era – THE SOCIAL ORGANIZATION.
The Social Organization is a company/business whose majority of people use social business competencies, social tools (media), and social processes to achieve higher quality internal and external results more efficiently. The power of the Social Organization is in the exponential leverage of diversified relationships and the speed in which information can be transferred. A non-social organization uses more one to one conversation, limiting the accuracy and relationship distance information can be communicated. Think of the telephone game as a child; one to one conversation, often inaccurate and limited in distance (or viral ability) by how many people are willing to wait or listen. A social organization provides information to multiple people simultaneously, provides easy methods to share internally or externally or both, and allows for iteration in a shared space. It is like the difference between trying to catch something with a 50 ft. rope or a 50 ft. by 50 ft. net.
3 examples of the difference in power of the Traditional Organization versus the Social Organization:
Brand Advocacy: Theoretically, the strongest brand advocates should live inside the company or organization. A highly social organization will be able to reach more people, reach more people who are influenced by the sender, and deliver all with much greater efficiency.
The Social Organization reaches 87%+ more people with only 10% of the original population. The same number of associates would equal a 18.75X difference (1,125,000 in reach). Do you know of any one move that can change metrics by almost 20X?
Recruiting: Traditional recruiting primarily uses websites to pull in attractive potential hires, and often scoops up high amounts of unqualified wastes of time. A pull model, it’s like a the Death Star’s tractor beam sucking up everything from Millennium Falcons to space junk. Social recruiting leverages the relationships of your associates to find potential hires matching your cultural fit. And by having large numbers of separate people from separate departments, you also reach a more diversified candidate pool.
Research & Development: The most known example of a Social Organization leveraging social competencies and process to improve R&D efforts is Dell, and their IdeaStorm Community. This community leverages the resources and thoughts of their enormous customer base to help identify future enhancement and product ideas. Dell is able to iterate with the end customers on what those same customers would want. I like to reference a quote from John Hagel’s Power of Pull “There are a lot more smarter people OUTSIDE your organization than IN it,”
The Social Organization is more of a cultural shift than a project. It requires massive amounts of change management (Awareness, Desire, Knowledge, Ability and Reinforcement) to be effective. Just getting everyone to have a Twitter account or LinkedIn account will not transform your organization. All that will end up happening is a bunch of silly looking Twitter eggs passing your company’s latest press release to each other. Associates need to become socially competent, both individually and for social business. Human Resources is in a unique position to help transform a culture, and they have the greatest opportunity to make the greatest impact on business in general.
Is your company a highly Social Organization?
How has Human Resources played a role in social competency development? Use of tools and processes? Social cultural shifts?
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