Tagged: strategy

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.

Twenty one (i)

I mentioned the Goorooz got me thinking about what they didn’t say as well as what they did; their disagreeable omissions. Perhaps they were just hoisted by their own platitudes.

I must have heard “facebook strategy”, “twitter strategy” and “social strategy” four or five dozen times during that meeting. I believe I was the only one to mention our business strategy in the vain hope there might be a connection. The hint garnered a brief nod but was by and large ignored. (I was tempted to ask if this meeting had been won on the back of a “telephone strategy”.)

Examples of “radical social success” came thick and fast – in confectionery, music, consumer electronics, retail and travel. Apparently we’re all the same people (agreed) and we all want the same “social engagement” with all kinds of brands (not as far as I’m concerned).

By the way, if engagement means the action of occupying or attracting someone’s interest or attention – and it does, I looked it up in a dictionary – what’s the difference between “social engagement” and plain old “engagement” exactly?

Can you tell my feathers were ruffled?

And I know I have a tendency to bang on about an organization’s mission (why we exist) and vision (what we want to be) a lot, but if social engagement is the be all and end all wouldn’t we expect more annual reports to feature Chairman comments like:

– “We’re totally stoked to have grown retweets 220% this year.”

– “Our brand ‘Likes’ are up significantly. Now I’m liking that.”

– “Our customer service platform coped successfully with a three-fold increase in social engagement this year.”

I’ve not seen a Chairman’s report with such apparently unmoored information, unmoored from the vision the organization is pursuing. And potentially flawed.

Take the ‘Likes’. It seems to me there’s real confusion here. I get the idea that brand owners think the ‘Likes’ come for one reason – “they love us!” – and Joe Public another – “thanks for the discount coupon”. Actually, make that: “Thanks for the discount coupon; now would you mind not getting in my face so much else I’m going to have to ‘Unlike’ you.”

And what about the engagement measure; is it necessarily a good thing? Might it not indicate the possibility that something was causing problems out there in the marketplace?