Tagged: influence scorecard

Attenzi – a social business story

Attenzi – a social business story shines a light on social business that goes beyond the all too typical homages to social media. It’s a relatively short and easy read intended to help readers explore what social business means for their organization, marketplace, communities and career.

The story is designed to galvanize the organization.

As the tale unfolds, you’ll consider aspects of organizational design, business performance management, marketing, public relations, branding, complexity, and the imminent empowerment of the individuals that make up any and all organizations. In fact, although you’ll likely be reading the book in a professional capacity, you’ll be noting the implications for your other roles in life too.

Perhaps most controversially, the story begins to explore the evolution of the customer-centric mindset that has dominated management thinking for the past two decades.

It’s free and available in HTML (this website, just keep clicking ‘Next‘), PDF, EPUB, Kindle .mobi, Kindle .azw3 and iBooks formats. And at Scribd. Hyperlinks in the ebook take you to the same section on this website for questions, observations and discussion.

I hope you’ll let me and each other know what you make of it.

Best wishes, Philip Sheldrake.

15th May 2013.

I met Adam Pisoni shortly after finishing the first edition of this book and found someone equally enthusiastic for the wide and deep potential of social business. I invited him to write the foreword, and he kindly agreed. Thanks Adam.

And I met Robin Carey who suggested we publish a second edition, September 2013, in association with Social Media Today. And I invited Robin to help set the scene too … Next

Sixty four


We outsource a lot of stuff we don’t consider to be our ‘core competence’, as management speak has it. The Influence Scorecard and those activities critical to executing our influence strategy must be core, and we’ve needed to bring some of our public relations, customer service and analytics activities in-house. And customer service and internal communications are public relations so we’ve joined these teams together, physically and digitally. While marketing is run separately, we’ve tried not to clump everyone together by discipline.

A new vista on media has helped. The ‘paid, owned, earned’ way to categorize media appears to have emerged from old silos and reinforces such divisions, so we’re trying to think in terms of something called ‘the influence view of content’. Basically, an influence professional must seek to understand what influenced the creation of relevant content, and might then influence it in future, and what influence its author intended it to have.

Deciding where stuff gets done, externally or internally, wasn’t wholly an either-or choice. We’ve worked closely with one supplier to test a hybrid whereby their people work with ours on our premises. We’ve done this kind of thing before in IT but never in marketing and PR. We want to amalgamate the best of both worlds – “full-time immersion at the Attenzi water-cooler” as Michelle puts it, pun intended, while maintaining continued access to the supplier’s particular know-how and resources.

The idea of Attenzi being a network that extends beyond its payroll isn’t yet fully established. There remains a clear delineation in people’s minds with respect to the person’s employer. In fact, I just wrote, “their people work with ours”. Such things will take a long time to blur, and won’t happen at all I’m sure without appropriate policy, process and determination.

We’re exploring ways to combine B2B post-sales service with production, based on the product-as-a-service concept. We’re on the third iteration of this revised structure, and at the time of writing we’re ten weeks from launching our first commercial product that will include the sensors and communications gadgetry to keep us connected to it 24/7. We have some ideas for how we might wield this data, but we’re aware that some applications will emerge with time and use.

We’ll be collecting and managing the data to begin with, but with the clear promise to customers that we consider ourselves custodians working on their behalf as well as our own until such time we can feed the data into their chosen service.

Sixty one

It’s nine months since that lunch with William and chat with Saket, and nearly a year since the pivotal away day. Of course, a large part of events has been change management. I won’t dwell on change management here but suffice to say our biggest challenges and opportunities in that respect have been people, people and people. And tech. As my old plant manager would say, we’re all in change management.

I’m wondering whether an organization designed around influence flows might find change management easier. It’s too early for me to conclude with certainty but it looks like it could.

Marcus, John, Georgio, Michelle, Yvonne, Tom and I form the steering team. We invite Saket in once a month to challenge our analyses, assumptions, conclusions and plans. He’s rather good at that, as you’ve seen.

We outlined a project plan to execute the influence strategy. We qualified the investments required in people, process and technology courtesy of our strategy maps. And we identified the dependencies and the timeline.

We developed a role and person specification for an individual to lead the transition, and it rapidly became clear that it had Marcus’ name all over it. We promoted two of his operations team to take up much of his existing mantle, leaving him with the majority of his time to crack on with social business. He has a team of four working with him in The Nerve Center, as it’s been named, and they obviously lean heavily on the steering team for our respective disciplinary expertise.

Note that I don’t write ‘functional expertise’. It has become increasingly clear that the typical functions in organizations really are a manifestation of the 20th Century perspective of business, a result of the tectonic forces of that period, and not necessarily the organs demanded of a 21st Century entity. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that there’s a radical departure necessarily, just that the norms we associate with today’s functional labels narrow our view of how the business might operate.

Interestingly, Marcus’ team had been seconded to The Nerve Centre as if they would return to their previous departments at some point. It took a week to put ourselves right about that.

Marcus owns the Influence Scorecard. He maps influence flows on to our strategy map and, to paraphrase the Balanced Scorecard creators, helps us define the marching orders we need to become a social business.

Forty five (iii)

“We have to re-gear ourselves, and that’s where measurement comes in. Sensitivity. Our performance can be defined and guided by new frameworks such as the Influence Scorecard, helping us orient our business around influence flows in order to become a social business.

“We’ve reached some incredibly valuable conclusions in recent weeks and months and crystallized them today. Now we just have to execute. We must move our talent, our energy and dedication to execution – to investing in the human, information and organizational assets with the appropriate balance needed to knock this opportunity out of the park.

“The prize is valuable. We will be more open, more relevant, more productive, more profitable, and we will sit squarely in the modern world. Every one will benefit – well except the competition!”

Pleasingly for everyone, our combined insights and efforts garnered a little round of applause.

Forty four (ii)

How might we go about socializing the enterprise?

We need to improve our understanding of influence flows first off, and our facility to think and behave in these terms universally (as opposed to just in marketing and PR). And develop our assets accordingly.

Sarah commented that the Balanced Scorecard approach considers how best to develop three types of assets in improving an organization’s capabilities to execute the strategy. They are human capital, information capital and organization capital. The first needs no explanation. The second refers to IT capabilities, and the third to the leadership, culture, teamwork and alignment of the organization and activities to the strategy.

So, it seems logical that we might consider the process of becoming a social business in terms of developing the human, information and organization capital appropriately.

We thought about ‘influence flows’ as a strategy that we can run through the normal strategy maps and Balanced Scorecard process. But then we noted that the flows of time, money and materials weren’t strategies, so why would influence flows constitute a strategy per se. Rather, strategy is defined as identifying those processes that the organization decides it should do better than the competition in order to secure it the advantage it desires in the marketplace.

In short, focusing on influence flows isn’t a strategy, determining which influence mechanisms and processes to improve is.

I was excited about where this was going but time was flowing by. So, with an hour of the day remaining, I asked who’d like to go out to dinner that evening, if they didn’t have prior commitments of course, to seize the momentum. Everyone was up for it and I made a reservation at Vincenzo’s. But we weren’t done at the hotel just yet.

Saket introduced everyone to the Influence Scorecard approach, which, like the Balanced Scorecard, is a management approach rather than a yardstick per se.

The Influence Scorecard can be considered as a subset or augmentation of the Balanced Scorecard containing all the influence-related objectives and metrics extracted from their functional silos.

Once a company’s influence strategy is defined and influence objectives articulated – by each of the six influence flows and by stakeholder – influence flows can be drawn explicitly in the enterprise strategy map.

Sarah asked if the Balanced Scorecard was a prerequisite of the Influence Scorecard. Saket replied that any organization that hadn’t yet implemented well defined and disciplined business performance management wasn’t yet in the best position to socialize the enterprise effectively. And transitioning to social business cannot be accomplished in a week or two; it will take place over a number of years although strategic value should be derived each and every quarter if the process is managed well.

ACTION: Sarah, Yvonne, Michelle to work with Saket and learn more about the Influence Scorecard.