I found this great blogpost on what ‘Social Business’ is. Read it its worth it.
What prompted me to actually search for it was that I lay in bed yesterday checking my calendar for this weekend realizing it was empty and that I was happy with two days of no obligations and appointments. It made me very aware of the fact that for the last year or so I’ve been really busy. With work, with friends, with running but mostly with being ‘social’.
True, I’ve always been somewhat of a workaholic, checking my mail day and night, happily responding to messages at all hours of the day. But as most people (unlike me) shut their mail down when they go home around five it meant that the number of messages outside of office hours was limited.
That changed however when I became more socially active. The difference is that unlike mail, social micro blogging isn’t confined to work only. People micro blog about everything from work to hobbies to kids to personal challenges. Not just during office hours but at all hours of the day. Offering an inside glimps to who they are, but more importantly: Humanizing them. And that is a real revolution.
I now sometimes meet customers and relations I’ve never seen or talked to before but that feel like old acquaintances simply because I’ve interacted with them in chats and on social platforms far before they even got to be of interest business wise. And because it’s two way you are more familiar to them too, taking away normal barriers that are put up in business relations. Yes, you make yourself vulnerable but what you gain is trust and a deeper relation and that to me is totally worth it.
I immediately hear the ‘but….‘ coming from all corners here. Because how does this improve your business?!? and How do you make socializing cost effective??
Well read that blogpost I mentioned at the start, I’m not going to repeat what was said in there but two of the poignant things that really hit home for me were:
“The historical […] separation between the inside and the outside environments of a company is loosing importance”
“The ultimate reason of existence for the [social] corporation is no longer to generate value for its traditional stakeholders but to maximize the exchanged value between the company and the entire ecosystem“.
Hello world! Its no longer about just making big bucks and putting up a nice facade to the outside world its about really working together at a personal level. Putting the individuals in the center of the process, not just the mechanism of work. Respecting that we all are part of the process and that each of us, whether you are a customer, contractor, relation or supplier, has a personal as well as corporate gain. And that by realizing and utilizing that we ALL stand to win.
Why? Well because when you see and respect that everyone involved has more to offer than just what was said on their job description, you suddenly end up getting much more value for your money. Suddenly you find that people are more than just output machines but that they are human beings with creativity, ingenuity, knowledge and intuition. Some of which might not even be related to work at all. But that by bringing all that together you end up getting something that is much more valuable and stronger than what any individual, even ‘Guru’ could realize. It’s no longer internal vs external, contractor vs client its teamwork.
So how does that make it cost effective? Well sometimes you have to ‘give a little to get a little’ but in general working together like this enhances the products, improves employee involvement and builds stronger business relations making the difference in getting future projects. And that to me is making my work a real joy. I’m a people person. I love to connect to people. And for the first time I’m seeing that that part of me is not just something I do because I like it but something that is actually becoming an integral part of my job and can help drive revenue.
And it’s not just my work that is changing because of this. It’s my personal life too. As stated above I’ve always spend lots of time on my work and people have accused me of having no personal life at all. Maybe they were right for a while there…. I’ve always been good at my job, but although I’m ambitious I never saw myself as a ‘guru’ and for years that made me feeling insignificant and holding back. I had trouble defining who I was and what I had to offer.
What changed is that I started realizing that I didn’t have to be a ‘guru’ to contribute and that just being me in all it’s uniqueness as a human being was more then enough as that made me a valuable part of the process and of the teams that I operate in. Both personal as well as professionally.
‘Wisdom of the crowds‘ already described how crowds know so much more then individuals but its the Social revolution that is giving a platform to those crowds to actually leverage that wisdom. So bring it on! I love this new era in business. It’s daunting and challenging and we are destined to make mistakes but as long as we do it together I’m sure we are on the right track.
And in the mean time I’m going to enjoy my busy calendar and Social activities and live life to the fullest. Because for the first time in my live I can truly say that my work is my hobby and NOT feel insecure about it.