Social Business is not a plan or a strategy, it’s a way of life. Life is all about relationships and if it’s your intention to be a Social Business, then you need to forget the strategy and concentrate solely on relationships.
Does everyone know what they are supposed to do?
This is probably the most pertinent leadership question we should be asking? If the answer is no, then the fault lies with no one else but the leader. Did the leader not explain why you were employed in the first place? Because the reality is we employ people to work! Now that may be a revelation to some, but if the leaders don’t trust the people they employed to do what it is they were employed to do, then why did they employ them in the first place. Most of the excuses given by managers is actually assuming that people don’t do the jobs they are supposed to do. If this is indeed the reality then where is the leadership?
Relationships are the key to Social Business
We can never hope to be a Social Business if we cannot get our own departments and companies into order. The way we get this into order is to ensure that everyone knows why they were employed, what they need to do and why they need to do it. The less you need to explain to a person, the better they should be at their respective jobs. In other words they have sufficient experience to perform. In the case of new staff and graduates, they will need a little more coaching and mentoring so that they can get the work done.
The key is relationships, as you will notice that it is the leader that sets the tone of all relationships within an organisation. Does the leader trust the staff and see their contribution as valuable. If the leader does not set this tone, the staff will never see the paying customers as valuable. It is scary how much emphasis is placed on leadership, but it must be recognised that this is leadership all the way down the organisation and not just the top of the organisation.
A Multi Year Digital Strategy
Once we have the leadership essence correct, we can start to understand the needs within the organisation. Incidentally most of the leadership essence we talk of is the art of listening. Yes listening is what relationships and ultimately leadership is all about. What do our colleagues need? What do our customers need? How will be deliver on these needs in an efficient way that maintains the best relationship?
The use of digital can accelerate the process, but it will require constant change just like the relationships we are serving. I would suggest focusing on the people first and then finding ways of integrating the technology seamlessly with them, as opposed to finding how the technology can perhaps assist the current processes.