The Social Enterprise: It’s Not Just About Marketing

connectionSocial enterprises are able to connect with its customers as well as its employees in a manner where exchanging information, insights and best practices occurs in an uninhibited fashion. Social media and cloud-based tools offer cost-effective options for organizations seeking to better manage the way they collaborate and disseminate information. There are four aspects to consider in nurturing a social enterprise. The first aspect focuses on people. 
People are the backbone of an organization and the source of its intellectual horsepower. Social enterprises coordinate opportunities for its people to share experiences, insights and lessons learned with others. When enterprises facilitate this open sharing they gain a deeper understanding regarding the expertise of its employees. The end goal for the social enterprise is to channel the collective wisdom and creativity of people towards key organizational objectives.
The second dimension of a social business addresses the importance of processes. Processes within a social enterprises are used to bring people together and enhance the visibility of work. The silos that often plague organizations are detrimental because they block visibility into the expertise that powers critical business operations. As a result collaboration and contribution from other pockets of expertise residing within the organization is limited. Transparency allows for the work to be completed in a more accurate and timely fashion.
As organizations tackle more complex issues and routine tasks become more automated, enterprises will be challenged to tap into the collective intelligence of its audiences in more effective ways. Processes that do not  fully engage expertise residing inside and outside of an organization severely limits the enterprise’s ability to respond to change (i.e. bad for business).
The third aspect of a social enterprise addresses how the institution manages content. The content used to inform customers and employees is more dynamic than ever as it must be to aligned to new business circumstances and regulatory requirements  Content in a social business is often a co-creation of many subject matter experts from a variety of departments, divisions and job classifications. Social media inside the workplace enables this process to be coordinated in a more effective manner.  
The final aspect of the social enterprise addresses how technology is used to support transparent collaboration within the organization. Social media platforms offer features that increase the opportunities for subject matter experts and stakeholders to engage in discussion. This dialog can either be part of a freestanding conversation or it can be embedded in specific segments of a work flow. Each type provides unique benefits to an organization.
With the wide availability of cost-effective technology options and the explosive growth of mobile capabilities the speed at which organizations can evolve to meet environmental demands has greatly increased. Social media are for more than just marketing. Social media allow organizations to be more agile, innovative and compliant.

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