A World Gone Social

How Companies Must Adapt to Survive

A World Gone Social

Authors: Ted Coine, Mark Babbitt
Pub Date: September 2014
Print Edition: $24.95
Print ISBN: 9780814433263
Page Count: 256
Format: Hardback
e-Book ISBN: 9780814433270

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Excerpt

INTRODUCTION

The Industrial Age is dead.

Welcome to the Social Age.

Social media has proven to be an insurmountable market force, changing how we innovate, collaborate, serve our customers, hire and develop team members, motivate others toward a common mission, communicate with stakeholders, display our character, and demonstrate accountability. This isn’t change for the sake of change. Neither is this change to fine-tune the status quo, as we saw in the twentieth century with Six Sigma, Total Quality Management, and the Lean movement, which simply helped bureaucracies function at a more efficient, profitable level. This is real, systemic change.

Human change.

Which isn’t easy.

We two authors—ourselves successful veterans of the social revolution—will help you initiate that change. By discussing the next major era in business, A World Gone Social will enable you to adapt quickly, so you can thrive in the Social Age:

▶ We’ll help you, your company, and your industry get out in front of the social revolution.

▶ We’ll ensure you have the voice, influence, and power to lead engaged, innovative teams.

▶ We’ll help you learn from the successes and failures of the early adopters and companies that have already taken to social (some in a good way, and others that have made community-killing mistakes).

▶ We’ll discuss the power of OPEN, where ordinary people intersect to form extraordinary networks.

▶ We’ll introduce you to some of the fascinating change makers, innovators, and mistake makers in the vanguard of the Social Age.

▶ And, along the way, you’ll learn our secret to social: More social. Less media.

In Section I of A World Gone Social, we’ll talk about the surface changes currently under way—business issues that have caught much attention. We’ll discuss how some old-school leaders seem dimly aware of the new era upon us and so are left grasping in the dark, while others remain unconvinced of the power of social, so they fail to take action. We’ll also take on those who resist for another reason: the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” crowd, oblivious to the imminent change—and the turf protectors who perhaps have a vested personal interest in resisting social’s influence.

We’ll then delve deeper into those seismic changes that have already occurred in the Social Age: how the balance of power has shifted from message-controlling corporations to customers and employees who can now voice their opinions—both good and bad—through social. We’ll show how one customer, or employee, can disrupt operations and the focus of an entire corporation based on one seemingly simple decision. And we’ll discuss how those voices are amplified, and create real impact, through social.

Next, we’ll demonstrate how social has already disrupted critical aspects of every business: the very way we’ll build our teams moving forward, how we’ll engage with (rather than broadcast at) stakeholders, and how five-star, 100 percent transparent customer service will lead to a community of evangelists organically supporting your brand.

In Section II, we’ll take on the “death of large” and show how even the biggest enterprises need to get—or at least think and act—small to survive and that nimble, engaging, focused teams are how business will succeed in the Social Age. We'll ask if “flat” is the new black—a trend that, as social management takes root and grows exponentially, will become our “new” form of collaborative leadership (even though its roots are decades old). Finally, we’ll introduce OPEN (Ordinary People | Extraordinary Network) not just as a method of building lifelong personal relationships but as the foundation of organizational success and as a catalyst for entire business models. Along the way, we’ll introduce you to some people and companies that have already jumped into social, with varying degrees of success.

In Section III, we’ll turn to how you can lead your organization to success in a world gone social. You will discover how to objectively assess the fitness of your organization’s culture and social presence and how to improve every aspect that might be failing while leveraging what works well. We’ll discuss the best possible approach to building socially enabled teams, turning customers into ambassadors, and cultivating passionate advocates and champions for your brand. And, with a world-class collaborative team and customer-centric culture in place, we’ll dive into the dynamics at play in digital marketing—and how best to position your company in a world gone social.

In Section IV, we take a look at the future of social business and discuss how we might measure return on investment (ROI) on what is likely to remain more art than science. Finally, we’ll look at what might be next steps for social media in general and for you as a leader in our new, socially driven economy.

In fact, that’s our primary goal throughout this book: to enable you to lead your organization confidently and successfully through the Social Age.

We’re sure you’ll enjoy what you are about to read. After all, we have a passion for the subject that goes beyond social—to personal. As admirably as it served the first-world economy, we want the Industrial Age—and the autocratic leadership practices and soul-sucking working conditions that came with that era—to die. We want organizations to become more transparent, more accountable. We want teams to continuously innovate and collaborate, rather than be throttled by hundred-year-old “best practices.”

In a world gone social, we want business to become more human.

Let’s get started . . .

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