About the Book
The Pursuit of Social Business Excellence
The “Why” Matters
Why do underdogs win?
As business leaders, we work hard every day to help ensure the success of our company. We know that it feels good to win; it feels better to win as a team; and it feels best to share our successes with customers and business partners. In today’s social era, businesses can successfully extend their core beliefs and guiding principles to employees, customers, and partners. In order to achieve success, companies must cultivate a culture of courage, transparency, meritocracy, openness, and shared accountability. The most important foundational elements for successful social transformation are a company’s culture and its people.
In this social and mobile era, customers have choices and voices that are scaled and amplified like never before. For businesses to truly connect with our employees and customers we must be able to listen, respond, engage, and add value in a timely and robust manner. But, to truly connect we must do so by way of a personalized and mutually beneficial approach; and in order to do this well, we must embrace social collaboration.
Transformation to a social business is not a technological journey, but rather a cultural, people-oriented, and a process-driven pursuit. Businesses must find a way to move from transaction-based mentalities to being engagement oriented. Our employees and customers want to know where we are going, and why; people want to know what we believe in. In this social era, connecting to likeminded organizations is a growth driver.
“People don’t buy what you do; people buy why you do it.” – @SimonSinek
As leaders at Enterasys Networks, we have made a conscious decision to shift away from talking about what we do, and how we do it, to instead talking about what we believe in. It all started with our company ethos: “There is nothing more important than our customers.” We believe that companies must consistently deliver on their promises, and embrace shared accountability in an open and trusting manner. But our definition of ‘customer’ is not limited to people that are outside of our company.
Anytime we deliver a service to a recipient, whether she is on the inside or outside of our company, we consider that recipient to be ‘our customer’. We all have the opportunity to service others within the enterprise, and thus we all have direct customers regardless of our function in the company. Our social business transformation was seeded with the core tenet that in order to establish trust, we must clearly display competence and intentions. Our intentions, defined by our ‘customers first’ ethos, have established a company-wide culture that includes a unified commitment to serve with dignity, passion, respect, and inclusiveness. We must also appreciate and work hard to consistently deliver on our promises: competence is shaped by reliability. A social business simply cares more; a social business lives its culture. Authenticity is found at the intersection of what we believe, what we say, and what we do. A social business is, above all, authentic.
“Change almost never fails because it’s too early. It almost always fails because it’s too late.” – @ThisIsSethsBlog
In today’s hyper-connected social and mobile era, a business must be able to change and adapt in order to achieve sustainable growth. Companies must evolve and adapt. The market is the wind, and we cannot control the wind. But we can work to ensure the wind is blowing behind our backs. To that end, we must recognize that social and mobile initiatives are no longer a technology discussion, but instead a lifestyle. Today’s mobile and social lifestyle has seen an unprecedented scale and velocity of adoption by our customers and employees. The positive business impact of social and mobile technologies is no longer questionable. Those who oppose inclusion of these technologies are either out of business already, or they are on their way out.
“You may hate gravity, but gravity does not care.” – @ClayChristensen
Substitute “gravity” with “social collaboration” and “mobility” in the above quote, and the sentiment will stay true. So, what are the steps to take if you have been tasked with transforming your business to embrace social collaboration? What are the foundational elements for a successful and sustainable social business transformation?
If you think that social business transformation is mostly about acquiring the right technology, you’re seriously underestimating the foundational elements that your company will need before technology is a factor. Successful social business transformation is led first by culture, people, process and lastly technology. Every business needs a mantra, guiding principles to ensure purposeful and ethos-aligned communication. A meaningful purpose is crucial to driving business transformation.
“Communication is everyone’s panacea for everything.” – @Tom_Peters
Effective and purposeful communication in business is the catalyst behind social collaboration. After reading this book, you will be able to leverage the experiences we’ve had at our company in order to better understand and communicate the power of social networking in your own business, and we are confident that you will be able to answer and address the following commonly asked questions about this new journey in social collaboration:
- What is a social business and why is it important?
- How can you maximize your ability to compete, win, and expand market share in the social era by leveraging social collaboration principles?
- What are the foundational organizational elements needed to ensure a successful social business transformation?
- How can you scale your company’s brand using social collaboration?
- How can you delight your customers and achieve world-class customer loyalty and commitment?
- How can social collaboration help build a culture of internal advocacy that leads to external influence?
- What is the impact of social collaboration on research, development, as well as blue ocean innovation?
- Can social collaboration transform an organization from a defensive to an offensive preemptive service delivery model?
- Can social collaboration accelerate co-creation and adoption of best practices across business lines?
- What are the best examples of social selling and marketing with hard return of investment (ROI)?
- How important is an integrated social customer relationship management (CRM) framework to a successful social collaboration strategy?
- What is the future of social business and how will it affect customer service, engineering, sales, human resources, and other key functions?
We are not industry analysts. We are not technology futurists, pundits, social innovation experts, ninjas, or gurus. But, we have been the first company to invent multi-industry, award-winning, patent-pending technology that enables our customers to communicate with machines via social networks. We have leveraged social technologies to build world-class product engineering, and customer service organizations. Industry analysts, and the press, have also recognized us for quality differentiation when it comes to our products and services.
This book is our business story. We won’t talk much about other companies, management practices, or future technology trends that don’t apply to the work we are doing at Enterasys. We purposefully avoid referencing outside studies, because our intent is not to compare and contrast our approach with other implementations of similar practices. This book was written with the sole purpose to share our own success story with you. Some portions of our story may be controversial and subject to scrutiny, but the facts are, we are managing award-winning organizations that outpace the market, we are growing faster than most of our competition, and we were recognized as Boston’s “Best Place to Work 2012.”
We are winning, and we’re proud to be leading an organization that outperforms the market based on our customer-focused ethos. We’ve achieved successful growth by intentionally and meticulously transforming our business into a social organization, and we are confident that our story will guide you on your own transformation journey in social business. Let’s do this, together.
So why do underdogs win? Underdogs win because they know they can.
@ValaAfshar and @Brad_W_Martin