If you want your business to be successful you have to create the right mindset when it comes to change. How is it possible to win when the only certainly is change? A difficult question to answer, but a reality. I recently read Ajad Ahmez and Stefan Orlander’s book, “Velocity”. I was interested and inspired by their perspective on a world gone digital and social. The whole world has changed in the last years- so have the employees, customers and partners. They have become more and more social – in their private lives as well as in their working lives. Employees obviously know what Facebook, Google and Wikipedia are because they grew up using them. Now they encounter new platforms as companies work toward being Social Businesses who are well prepared in a world of CHANGE.
Within the book Ajaz & Stefan introduced “The seven laws for a world gone digital” and I would add, a world gone SOCIAL.
1. A Smith & Wesson Beats Four Aces
You can be the best in your area but try to imagine you are in a saloon playing poker and have a hand of four aces. You feel safe, not beatable but suddenly someone comes into the saloon with a gun. That changes everything. He will pick up the money you will lose the game – with four aces. The gunman can be anybody – an existing competitor, a new player on the market. When you are well connected within your company and in the market it is easier for you to identify these gunmans and draw your weapon first.
2. It is Easier Done Than Said
Get going. Then get better. You have to stop debating the perfect solution, you have to start executing and create a culture that does rather than says. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. It means: Be iterative, be agile, be quick. In a Social Business it is pretty easy to generate new ideas, but you need to develop things and actually use the tools that you invested in.
3. TheBest Advertising is No Advertising
Make meaningful connections is the motto. The aim is it to create connections to your customers to be worthy of their loyalty. But how do you do that? “The magic is in the product, the values and the spirit of the brand”. Look at the tools of the digital world to provide your message to your customers and keep it brief by focusing on relevant benefits. One example would be by creating external communities to engage your customers or your partners. They won’t be distracted by other brands because it is your own environment. You can share all relevant information about your products and services without losing the focus on your brand and create a useful channel for all target groups.
4. Convenient is the Enemy of Right
“Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever.” This quote of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys hits the nail on the head. Creating structure and paying attention to detail doesn’t mean that the product is not interesting, it means that you’ll spot problems before someone will notice them. Use your internal workforce and let them collaborate when you develop a new product. Set up an internal social group, discussion or even a poll. It won’t be convenient at first, but everyone who is interested will participate in the discussion, contributing useful content and information you wouldn’t even think about.
5. Respect Human Nature
It’s not all about technology, it’s more about understanding your environment and its’ need for new technology. Technology is a mean to make things in the social or digital world easier but also more complex. It is necessary to make things Useful, Usable, Delightful because the digital touch points to your brand are fast growing and you need to provide quality and excellence. And don’t forget, “at the far side of an app, a Tweet, an anything, there’s a person.” Furthermore human beings are the major element of Social Business. It won’t work if you just give them a social tool and expect them to collaborate. Engage them and take your time in doing this.
6. No Good Joke Survives Commitee of Six
Very often someone must make a decision to press ahead with the business, but is the decision based on the consensus always the right decision? It is not clear. Decision makers should listen to all options and should sometimes trust their intuition. . It is necessary to use filters to avoid subjectivity in your decisions. By creating the right filters you depoliticize the decision-making process and send the right signals to your co-workers. This is about mindset of change, social business and a new culture in terms of decision-making. “Filters free up the people in your team to discover strengths they didn’t know they had, creating a Velocity-ready hunger for change and challenge to make the end result better.”
7. Have a Purpose Larger than Yourself
It is essential that you love what you do. If you are not sure if you really love it then maybe you don’t. When you don’t love your own products or services or if you are not profoundly convinced then you won’t sell it with commitment to your costumers. Be curious, be motivated, be enthusiastic, have dreams. “It is not about ‘big ideas’ or ‘small ideas’, it’s about good ideas. If you use the technology which is given to make your dreams come true you will find yourself and find or convince others. This is what makes the difference in the world of Social Business, with the right technology and mindset, the sky is the limit!
About the author
Patrick graduated with a master’s degree in business informatics at the beginning of 2013 and then spent a half-year-long stint working as a social business consultant at a large digital solutions agency in the UK. He has returned to Berlin to strengthen the Pokeshot///SMZ team as a Junior Consultant for Social Business Strategy.