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How to start a successful social business

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Knowing that we do not have all the answers we recently hooked up with Adi Gaskell who makes a living helping businesses, government departments and leaders understand better how to make their business a social business. He is very focused on the requirement that there is a purpose to the collaboration whether it is better products. more sales, or improved customer relations. Whatever the target it, start there and work backwards to deliver the technologies, working practices or whatever else is required.

Adi has produced a whitepaper for us entitled 'How to start a successful social business' and you can register using the following form to get the whole thing. We are including an extract below so that you can get a flavour for the quality content that Adi has produced.

Download the full whitepaper here

Five Key Tips to building a successful social business

by Adi Gaskell (@adigaskell)

The road to becoming a social business is not for the faint hearted, for it goes beyond setting up accounts on Facebook or Twitter. It goes beyond even purchasing an enterprise social network tool. Instead it represents a fundamentally new way of doing business. Such cultural and behavioural changes won’t happen overnight, but if you wish to undertake that journey, here are some steps to help you on your way.

1.Get executive buy-in

It’s tempting to think that this will happen organically, with changes emerging from the impromptu actions of your employees. By and large that is seldom the case. To successfully change behaviours will require a shift in the environment you place employees in, which will require top level involvement.

2.Figure out your goal/s

Just collaborating isn’t what you should expect to see from this. You should instead be aiming for concrete improvements that tie in with the key goals for your organisation. Connect social behaviours to these core goals and you have things you can then measure.

3.Visualise success

Key to the achievement of those goals will be a range of fundamental behaviours from employees. Try and visualise what such an ideal scenario will look like. This will be key to the 4th stage.

4.Work on the environment

Human beings are pretty adaptive creatures, and we are exceptional at moulding our behaviours to our environment. Therefore if you wish to see collaborative behaviours, you need to create an environment that supports and encourages them. Look at areas such as how people are rewarded; how feedback is delivered; how decisions are made; how flexible the org chart is; and how information is distributed.

5.Measure and improve

A big part of being a social business is continuous improvement, so make sure you measure progress against the goals you’ve outlined previously and regularly look to refine and improve what you do.

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