Building a social business - a new guide - Business Works
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Building a social business - a new guide

Whilst social business has become a hot topic over the last few years, the evidence of success has often been few and far between. What's more, many of the successes that have been recorded have been in terms of software adoption rather than cold, hard commercial benefits.

It's no wonder that the industry has entered what Gartner refer to as the trough of disillusionment.

Step forward The 8 Step Guide to Building a Social Workplace by writer and consultant Adi Gaskell. Whilst it provides an overview of the various things happening that promise to make our workplaces more social ranging from open innovation to crowdfunding the most interesting part is without doubt the eight levers managers can use to sculpt a social workplace.

if you want to change behaviour you have change the system

The general thesis is that there are many facets of the systems within which we all work each day, whether it's how we're rewarded, what things are measured or how decisions are made. These things, taken collectively, therefore influence the way we behave at work. If you want to change behaviour, therefore, you need to change the system so that it encourages those behaviours.

It goes on to highlight some examples of how this might be achieved for each of the eight levers. For instance for the workplace lever, research reveals how lighting and even sound can influence our work behaviours.

The people lever talks about the role job descriptions play in work behaviour and whether they allow enough time or scope for us each to help our colleagues and contribute to other projects inside our organizations.

The measurement lever looked at some of the challenges faced when seeking to measure the impact of collaboration or innovation and how organizations can look to overcome some of those challenges by determining the right sort of things to measure in the first place.

There are a number of interesting case studies and examples throughout the book looking at how these things are working in practice, ranging from the Idea Jams implemented so successfully at IBM to how Telus applied the people lever to promote collaboration.

It's overall an interesting insight into how to make social business work, and comes very much as the enterprise 2.0 wave moves away from focusing on tools to a focus on culture and behaviours. The recent Enterprise 2.0 Summit in Paris was littered with talks and discussions on the cultural aspects of social business and this work is very much in that mould.

Click here to purchase a copy of The 8 Step Guide to Building a Social Workplace

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