For all the folks selling social business, who think that they will sway business leaders by beating a drum to the tune of “The World is Changing and You Must Change With It”, I offer the following two quotes from the 2003 book Reengineering the Corporation, by Michael Hammer:
Advanced technologies, the disappearance of boundaries between national markets, and the altered expectations of customers who now have more choices than ever before have combined to make the goals, methods, and basic organizing principles of the classical corporation sadly obsolete. Renewing their competitive capabilities isn’t an issue of getting the people in these companies to work harder, but of learning to work differently. This means that companies and their employees must unlearn many of the principles and techniques that brought them success for so long.
Since the early 1980s… the dominant force in the seller-customer relationship has shifted. Sellers no longer have the upper hand; customers do.
Those were published 10 years ago.
Yes, social technologies are dramatically altering how we communicate as humans. And the impacts on our organizations over the next few years will be profound and exciting.
But the biggest challenge today lies not in the changes themselves, but in finding experienced people who have led large business transformation programs, and who truly understand how to operate social media at scale. These are the skills that will differentiate the leaders of social business over the next few years.