Social Media is NOT necessary for the C-Suite . . .?

English: Infographic on how Social Media are b...

English: Infographic on how Social Media are being used, and how everything is changed by them. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

After all the recent talk around the unbelievably low numbers for executive participation in social media – including that of hardly any CIOs, which should be a hanging offence if not one for drawing and quartering first – we now have an effort to defend the C Suite and pooh-pooh the concerns of those of us who have been suggesting that the Fortune XXX are well on their way to losing their fortunes.

Jeff Esposito makes the best of a thoroughly bad case, and I invite you to read it (link below).

Quick points in rejoinder (and see my earlier posts):

1. The issue is strategic. If in 2012 hardly a soul in the C-Suite is actively engaged in social, a (the?) major source of competitive (dis)advantage is simply being ignored – because, unlike say the dictaphone, you don’t know what you’re talking about / hiring for /strategizing about unless you have splashed around with several of these platforms over time. As I said in an earlier post, social is like saying you’re sorry; you can’t just hire someone to do it for you.

2. CEO disengagement is bizarre (these are supposed to be the smart guys). @Rupertmurdoch stands out as the only top CEO using Twitter interestingly. Only. But if the CIO, the conscience of the new info technology, is making snide remarks about people wasting their time “twittering,” it is not surprise everyone else in the suite feels they are off the hook. He (OK, almost all of them are) is doing more damage to the company than he could begin to imagine. At Moore’s Law speed, the social revolution is – chaotically – up and running. (The fact that most U.S. CIOs still report through the CFO, another body blow revealed by recent reseach, explains, sadly, a lot.)

3. Point is: This is not “about” marketing/customer service – though fielding complaints in real time is no bad thing. It’s about strategic re-invention by the alignment of corporate values, the values of employees, and those of present and prospective customers. It’s about B2B as much as B2C. It’s about letting loose a force for continuous innovation within the company – the only way, in the M’s-Law context, that this can be achieved. This is nuclear stuff. And the sooner 225 CIOs are giving their marching order (only 25 are on Twitter), the better. At least, if shareholders and boards have any interest in long-term profitability.

Jeff’s charge is partly that social media pros, whatever exactly they are, are jumping up and down about a situation which is of course of interest to them. But by and large their interests are tactical and marketing/CR focused. This issue is nuclear in its implications. There is no better thing any board member or CEO or C Anything Else could do than spend 2 weeks in social media immersion.

Memo to Social Media Pros – Social Media is NOT necessary for the C-suite.

The Grim Details on CEOs and Social; 14/500 are tweeting, for example

An Evening with the Fortune 500, May 7, 2012

An Evening with the Fortune 500, May 7, 2012 (Photo credit: Fortune Live Media)

I am rapidly coming to the conclusion, as these bizarre studies keep tumbling in, that serious personal engagement in social media is an absolute prerequisite for corporate leadership in 2012. And given the numbers, it’s also the single biggest opportunity for developing competitive advantage.

And here’s a project – anyone want to team up? Remedial social education camp: Every Fortune 500 CEO and other C-Suite denizen, every member of their boards, unless they are in the tiny minority actively and seriously engaged, needs to come spend a week being enabled to understand the single most dynamic force in the world in which they are operating.

Here are some of the most telling numbers.

  • 5 of the 19 CEOs on Twitter have never tweeted, and other accounts are “underutilized”
  • 25 of the 38 CEOs on Facebook have less than 100 friends
  • only four CEOs are on Google+ (including Larry Page)
  • not a single Fortune 500 CEO is on Pinterest

Here’s the report. Pour yourself a stiff drink before opening.

http://www.ceo.com/wp-content/themes/ceo/assets/F500-Social-CEO-Index.pdf

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.

The Social Revolution: Customer Service and those who don’t get it

Gordon Moore on a fishing trip

Gordon Moore on a fishing trip (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The glacially slow capacity of major companies to adjust themselves to the new world order of social media is going to cost them dear. Here’s a handy infographic to stick under the nose of your CIO/CMO/CEO. If you dare.

Seems a full 58% of Twitter users who have tweeted about bad customer experience have never had a response. Seems also that it costs, on average, three times as much to get a new customer as it does to retain an old one (I know, that varies enormously by industry; key thing to remember is that the impact is cumulative . . . an exponential factor that was around long before Moore’s Law). Ergo: duh.

We have noted repeatedly the lack of first-hand engagement by CIOs and other senior personnel in social, the continuing functional divisions that mar alignment between technology and strategic decision-making at C-Suite level, and the fact that (per Gordon Moore and his terrifying law) every single day these factors grow faster in their impact on customer retention and broader competitive advantage.

I’ve also suggested – further out on a limb – that it may be time to ditch the office of the CIO. As it has evolved, it is a tech-focused office; and in most major corporations it reports through that of the CFO (more horrors). Information now lies at the core of every endeavor, and with every passing day will drive value to a greater extent. Nobody should get anywhere near the C-Suite, whatever labels are being used, without a drenching in social media usage. Not that they all need to be coders (in fact that can be a negative; this is far from a geeks’ charter), but unless they are au fait, they should go do something else. At the leadership/management interface that the C-Suite embodies, they are incompetent. Whatever their other accomplishments. Sorry.

So back to the customer. Unlike the, well, institutionalized consumerism of a generation and two ago (think Nader), consumers are now directly empowered; and they will drive the culture of those companies sufficiently agile to be able to survive this revolution. The more numbers like those infographicked below persist, the faster we can expect new brands to emerge that get it.

Listen up, investors.

My earlier piece: https://futureofbiz.org/2012/04/13/social-risk-seems-cios-think-social-is-beneath-them/

And https://futureofbiz.org/2012/06/12/more-on-the-social-cio/

Social Customer Service – The Next Competitive Battleground [INFOGRAPHIC] – AllTwitter.

We Need to Talk – about #Twitter: Reciprocal Knowledge Engine PLUS

Some time back I wrote and then revised a piece on both my Twitter use and the power of Twitter as a machine for building knowledge through mutual or reciprocal curation – what perhaps we can designate a “reciprocal knowledge engine. ” Google just told me that it could not find the phrase, so it looks like it’s mine. Here’s the piece: http://nigelcameron.wordpress.com/future/why-twitter-matters/

I don’t really have a lot to add on that score; seems to me this medium/platform is pregnant with capacities to enable the building of cross-disciplinary, convergent knowledge, in a world defined by the data explosion of the exaclasm and the exponential need and opportunity for understanding – as a prelude, one would hope, to wisdom in decision-making in the face of global risk.

Point about Twitter, though, is that it is also many other things, and yesterday’s post discussing the proposal that our @ addresses serve as our personal universal locators is not without merit. Then again, it’s a source for every crowd one could wish, from flashmobs during demos to the nuclear flashmob that was unleashed on SOPA. And market research. And (another recent theme in this blog) C-Suite engagement with stakeholders. Of yes, and if you must, the Lady Gaga fan club and the PR people from our favorite pols. And on and on.

Which suggests: Twitter as a corporation or a brand may or may not have immortality. In general, businesses in this space are ageing fast (not good news for current valuations). A rival could pick it up, mess it up, close it down. Or, more likely, a nimbler, smarter, son-of-Twitter will emerge in 20 months’ time and we will all feel how MySpacey Twitter used to be.

But in all the social media melange, in Twitter we have lighted on something far more valuable than the other platforms, useful for particular purposes though they may be. It’s why many of the smartest people on the planet are spending serious time here every day of their lives. And (back to reciprocal knowledge) they are my research assistants. And I am one of theirs.

 

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