It's time for business to learn something new, but then again isn't it always?
Business doesn't seem to be as smart as it once was. Although it's really an issue of relative "smartness." Business is as smart, or as dumb as it's always been. But consumers, employees and investors are now a lot smarter. So on relative terms, business isn't as smart as it used to be because its markets have gotten A LOT smarter. Thank you social technology.
Social Technology + Business = Social Inc.
But business can catch up, and it has to. Social tools and techniques combined with mobile technology, or SoMo (social+mobile) for short, have created an intellectual gap between companies and their customers, employees and investors.
This usually isn't good news especially when consumers are smarter than businesses, and it's usually expensive for business. Smart consumers are tougher to sell to, and they have more options because they do their homework. They have more knowledge around pricing, features, terms and conditions and generally have more choices in the market. SoMo has raised the individual and collective IQ's of customers everywhere.
This is a permanent win for consumers, employees and investors and raises the power of these "forces" in Michael Porter's famous "five forces" model. When power shifts to suppliers and buyers, as it has through social technology, business suffers. It gets hurt where it matters the most, in the P&L.
The Social Inc. Will Set Your P&L Free
But business can fight back, using the same weapons that their markets have adopted. Social technology in the workplace has a couple of very important impacts for business. It's an enormous productivity tool and it makes business smarter. Productivity improvements translate straight to the bottom line, and being smarter as a business means that value creation will drive your top line.
Everyone is familiar with the saying "Don't bring a knife to a gun fight." Social technology is a bazooka that will give you a fighting chance with your markets, and an advantage over your socially challenged competitors. The social enterprise uses social technology throughout their entire business to deliver a unique experience -- treat your P&L to the economic advantages of this experience as well.
Class is now in session for the Social Inc.