I have been doing social since 2010 but I was not consistent nor did I take it very seriously until early 2013. It was then that I decided that I wanted to be more social, network and make connections with people with similar interests as well as learn from others.
Among some of the people that I first discovered and connected with were Ted Coiné and Mark Babbitt. They are generous and engaging individuals and I am thrilled to be helping them this week with the launch of their new book A World Gone Social. This book is one that I highly recommend you pick up and read. The following is a guest post from Ted and Mark.
One of the most important issues discovered during the writing of A World Gone Social:
“Change happens as the result of insurmountable market pressure.”
This is what we call the “Law of Change” – and you may be feeling that pressure now. And you’re not alone. Wherever we turn, business leaders who initially bet against social – or got social wrong – have just begun to see the true impact of social on their organization, culture, employees – even leaders.
And, one-by-one, they are coming to the same conclusion: Social is here to stay.
And yet even the best of us have still not grasped the monumental impact social will have on business for years to come. Yes, the marketing types saw the potential of social before anyone else. They know, as do we, that social will remain a game-changing force in the marketing arena for the foreseeable future. But there’s more. A lot more.
But social isn’t just media. Social – along with the natural outcomes of active listening: collaboration and engagement – has started a brand new age in business: an age that was a long time coming because too many organizations stubbornly clung to Industrial Age management, production and hiring practices.
The hierarchy. The bureaucracy. The narrowly-focused departments, employees and protectionists – all of whom share the “that isn’t my job” mindset. The carefully orchestrated spin from PR and overly-cautious doctrine from Legal. Add to that the most ridiculous relic from days gone by – the desire for all-knowing bosses to exert and maintain control – and one thing becomes clear:
The Social Revolution’s impact on the business world cannot be over-estimated. Like the meteor that likely precipitated the end of the dinosaurs, social is the catalyst in an extinction event–and business as we know it has changed forever.
Welcome to the Social Age.
The Law of Change, of course, wasn’t our only ah-ha moment. Over five years of studying the oncoming (and now ever-present) Social Age, we learned a great deal:
Customers Have Tremendous Power
On a bad flight? Get corrective action before they close the aircraft doors via Twitter. Get rude service from a call center? Mobilize your friends. Have an amazing experience at a hotel? Blast it all over Pinterest, TripAdvisor and Yelp. In the Social Age, customers now have tremendous power – just watch what happens as more realize it.
Employees Have a Voice
Boss treating the entire team unfairly? Get on social; tell your story. Corporate not exactly being honest about policy or behavior? Hit up Reddit. Need to take action against an employer making life-changing decisions? Start a Change.org petition. Employees now have a voice, and in just a couple days that voice can be amplified by a factor of millions.
Business Must Be Ethical
Not the “PR” kind of ethical… really ethical. Or, to use two buzzwords together: authentic and transparent. No more pretending you care. No more saying you are going to do stuff. Accountability is everywhere, and someone always knows better.
Commanding, Demanding Leadership is Dead
Old-school CEOs think they can command from high atop the 68th floor? Middle-managers think “You’re just lucky to have a job!” still motivates? Command-and-control leadership – where the boss does the parental “do what you’re told” thing is now so inefficient, so frowned upon, it is a distinct liability.
Nano and Nimble Beats Big and Bureaucratic
Small – or “nano” as we say in A World Gone Social – is the new competitive advantage. And few legacy corporations are capable of the agility required by evolving marketplaces. While they remain top-heavy with huge overhead expenses and archaic decision making practices, the small – or at least small-acting – firms are winning.
Engage or Withdraw
Engagement – with partners, employees, and customers – is not a luxury; it is a requirement. Mutually-beneficial relationships and community-building is how customers and brand ambassadors are won – and retained. The companies getting social right have already learned this – and are stepping well ahead of their old-school competition.
Most important, we discuss how business must be done in the Social Age. Either by today’s incumbent leaders, or surely by those who will replace them.
In what can only be described as the biggest change in how business is done since we left our farms to work in factories, the business world has been rocked. And so has the world of those charged with leading teams of just a few, to a few hundred thousand.
Look around you. Take in what you see. And you may just decide that insurmountable pressure is all around you – and it’s time for a change in how your organization is lead.
Mark Babbitt is the CEO and Founder of YouTern, a talent community that enables college students, recent graduates and young careerists to become highly employable by connecting them to high-impact internships, mentors and contemporary career advice. Mark has been featured as a keynote speaker and workshop director by the Tiger Woods Foundation, Smithsonian Institute and National Association of Colleges and Employers. He is an in-demand speaker at colleges and fraternities, including UCLA, the California State University system, New York University, Delta Sigma Pi and Alpha Kappa Psi.
Ted Coiné is the Chairman and Founder of SwitchandShift.com, which works with leadership to focus on the human side of business, and he is host of The Human Side TV, where he interviews the most fascinating minds in business each week. One of the most influential business experts on the Web, Ted has been top-ranked by Forbes, Inc., SAP Business Innovation, and Huffington Post as a top mind in the fields of business leadership, customer experience, and social media. Ted is a three-time CEO and a popular keynote speaker with over 350,000 followers on Twitter – and growing rapidly.
photo courtesy of pixabay