Earth to Twitter: Social Needs Stakeholder Governance

twitter y macworld

twitter y macworld (Photo credit: juque)

Twitter‘s latest blow to developers and users, the source of lamentation as I write and we all tweet, brings into fresh focus a simple, 3-fold, claim.

  • social media are uniquely positioned to benefit from high-level stakeholder engagement
  • it is in the interests of all involved for them to move toward stakeholder governance
  • yet our lead social media companies are among the least “social” of contemporary corporations.

Mark Zuckerberg has led the social pack with his high (and I believe genuinely meant) claim for a social purpose for social media. At some point someone will decide to work on alignment between such goals, the culture and practices of the organizations themselves, and their governance and funding structures. Some deep innovation in the latter will be needed before “social” settles down as the substrate of our C21 lives.

Facebook Crashes:

https://futureofbiz.org/technology/facebook-crashes-my-5-questions/

 

New API severely restricts third-party Twitter applications | Ars Technica.

 

$1.3 Trillion from Social, Says McKinsey. BUT . . . .

English: McKinsey matrix as described in McKin...

English: McKinsey matrix as described in McKinsey Quarterly Español: Reproducción de la Matriz de McKinsey según se describe en McKinsey Quarterly (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This looks a very interesting projection. The value is mainly to be found from better productivity that will come from better collaboration using social tools.

All this may be true. But the wild card lies in what I term strategic social – not incremental tools for biz collaboration (which are important) but the much messier and so far little engaged possibility of public social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook. In general companies have seen presence in these media to be useful for advertising and customer relations efforts, and delegated that presence way down then line. The prospect of values alignment between customers, employees, and the corporation; and the ready flow of information via relationships across the organizational boundary; have been little tapped and not that much noticed. My sense is that the value lying there is in fact much greater, as it can, should, may, drive innovation and culture change within the company. Culture change/innovation is where, prospectively, all the value lies – in the context of rapid change.

Evidence of very low levels of hands-on engagement with social in the C-Suite suggests this value is a long way from being realized.

McKinsey Says Social Media Could Add $1.3 Trillion to the Economy – NYTimes.com.

CEOs, C-Suites, and Suicide

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

Seems that approximately once a week a report is coming out giving fresh evidence for the same, utterly bizarre, fact: That most top execs are simply not engaged, personally or professionally, in social media. To qualify a tad: One well-placed observer tells that he believes many are actually engaged in private social media (such as Yammer) within their companies. I should be interested to see the evidence. Some I am sure are. But the whole point about social is that it is substantially public; private chat/bulletin experiences are not exactly the point. And while we are being skeptical: Anyone have data on private social use? Key issue is that the dynamic, transformative, threatening, swirling, social ocean needs to be swum in. It’s not just chit-chat among colleagues.

Back to point: Just before reading this nice piece in AllThingsD, I had posted a cry of distress that our major “social” corporations (that is, Facebook et al.) are themselves way down the list of those corporations benefiting from social engagement with their customers/users. Way down.

That is, the argument is a fortiori. If even our top social corporation isn’t engaging with its environment socially, what hope for B2B and B2C players in more trad industries?

This is bad.

Top CEOs Aren’t Using Social Media, Study Says — Should They Be? – Mike Isaac – Social – AllThingsD.

The Two Most Stunning Facts about American Business

Mississippi | Missouri

No hires from west of the Mississippi! (Photo credit: Kevin Saff)

Serious question: Is there anyone out there in the Fortune 500 who actually wants to make money?

Because mainstream American business is deliberately ignoring the two key drivers of value creation – with a remarkable degree of consistency. Companies vary, but not by that much, which is why the competitive advantage implications of both should be causing CEOs (and investors) nights of sweaty, nightmarish sleeplessness or first-mover overtime.

1. As I keep noting, every survey that reports on the number of women in senior positions tells us something ridiculous. Not, primarily, unfair (though of course it is unfair). Ridiculous. Whatever they may say, corporate leaders have taken a decision to ignore 50% of the talent pool.

Think about it. No-one with brown eyes. No-one from west of the Mississippi. Dog-lovers, fine; no-one with a cat. I know, it’s complicated. But when you get paid a whole pile of moolah, you can expect zero sympathy from me if things that are complicated prove to be beyond you. Get it fixed, or get out.

We know the national numbers. Men make up 84% of corporate officers, and 86.5% of executives. To focus more narrowly, look at the latest numbers (referenced below) from the state of MA: 41 out of the 100 largest companies by revenue have no women on their boards; 52 have no women executives. No-one with brown eyes. No-one from west of the Mississippi. No-one with a cat. It is frankly hard to see how in these circumstances officers and board members can claim to be exercising their fiduciary responsibility. At a time when the pressures on U.S. business are as bad as they have ever been, nearly half the talent pool is being ignored. I feel like I should be writing this for The Onion.

I think it’s unfortunate that this has been branded as an issue about fairness, like minority representation. Because it is quite different. It is something investors, were they thinking straight, would understand. Something boards would understand. It’s about value and competitive advantage. Get it?

There’s more to be said. I’ve argued that many women are in general better suited than many men to the flexible thinking, agility, relational management, and personal shape of C21 business. There’s actually a bonus in brown-eyed, western, cat-loving hires.

2. The second stunning fact is recent, obvious, dramatic, and at least as hopelessly out of focus as the first. It’s “social.” We keep talking about it. The posts linked below give some telling numbers that drive home the point. Not one of our major corporations has grasped the strategic significance of social media and social customer engagement. Some have responded more seriously than others. A few CEOs have set a lead. But only a handful of top CIOs are personally engaged in that combo of tech and human interface which will define both the relation of corporation and customer (B2B or B2C) in this generation and the corporation’s own capacity for agile, responsive change. It’s as big as that.

So, were I to be asked, I’d suggest the CEO snap up the top 10 social gurus on the planet and build a unit that engaged equally with CIO, CMO, every customer-facing unit, product development, and strategy. With the authority of his (sigh, yes, likely, his) office. For starters. Then next week, something else.

Now, guess what? Anyone seriously think that with women occupying around half the board and executive positions the revolutionary impact of social would be ignored? Anyone seriously think that if and when social is taken proportionately seriously, and customer values demand alignment with those of the company, the asinine male-dominated corporate culture that is well-nigh universal in U.S. business will survive?

Point is, the misalignment of society and corporate governance culture will find its most ready corrective in the revolutionary impact of social in permeating the organizational boundary and enabling market-driven pressures to reshape the business enterprise. It’s all under way. Who’s interested enough in the bottom line to jump ahead?

 

Customer Service and those who don’t get it: https://futureofbiz.org/2012/07/06/the-social-revolution-customer-service-and-those-who-dont-get-it/

https://futureofbiz.org/2012/06/20/how-to-become-a-social-business/

https://futureofbiz.org/2012/06/26/82-of-moms-of-under-18s-on-social-networks/

https://futureofbiz.org/2012/06/14/tech-and-corporate-culture-social-dc-gov2-0/

The business case for investing in women – Boston Business Journal.

via The Two Most Stunning Facts about American Business.

via The Two Most Stunning Facts about American Business.

via The Two Most Stunning Facts about American Business.

via The Two Most Stunning Facts about American Business.

It’s coming. Privacy as biz model. Finally.

English: a chart to describe the search engine...

Search with privacy?

I’ve been arguing for a long time that biz model will surface in which privacy drives value. Now we have one.

Here’s a search engine that explicitly refuses to implicate your ID date in your search effort. And it does not charge.

My view has been that small fees, ad hoc or monthly, by social media or search engines, would find growing acceptance. But if there are no fees, the process should be more rapid.

Why it is that sharing a gazillion personal data pots should ever have been regarded as due tribute for search and social services is beyond me.

http://t.co/YVCyEvGe