Five "Beyond Facebook" Questions Boards Should Be Asking

Transient

Boards have historically left the IT governance agenda to the audit committee -- it doesn't belong there anymore. While fear and misunderstanding around social media has raised the profile of IT governance in the Boardroom, the Boards work here is just getting started.  

Some forward thinking Boards have added IT and social skills to their Director ranks, and many more need to because social isn't just about social media and marketing.  Social is a disruptive technology that is changing the rules of business and impacting every aspect of leading and managing a company.  

The Iceberg And The Tipping Point

Social technology is an incredibly powerful innovation and productivity tool for business that will disrupt business models and industry dynamics.  Facebook was the tip of the iceberg, the game changing social technology stuff for business is just starting. From strategy to all aspects of operations, social technology has a powerful competitive role to play.  

CEO’s expect technology to drive the most change in their organizations over the next 3 to 5 years.
— IBM Global CEO Survey, May 2012

The future that's now at hand for business wasn't even possible a few years ago.   The tools and techniques of social engagement are creating new opportunities to create and capture value.   Boards that understand the competitive disruption that is at hand, will serve their companies well by understanding both the risks and opportunities.   

Five New Questions For Boards

Here are five new questions Boards need to be asking their management teams around social technology -- Boards also need to ramp up their efforts to get IT and social technology competent Directors into the Boardroom.  I'm an advocate for IT steering committee's given the strategic importance that technology plays for most companies -- only about 6% of companies have them.  

Every company is now an information and social technology company -- Boards who learn and lead on this issue have a lot to gain.   Those who don't...          

1.  Is there a corporate point of view for what “social” is now, and how it will evolve in the future?

2.  How do social technology, media, networking and the changes in behavior driven by these tools impact the company strategically, competitively, financially, operationally and from a risk perspective? 

3.  Do we have a view for how social impacts each of our functional areas, e.g. HR, F&A, R&D, strategy, supply chain, marketing, sales, etc.  

4.  How do we think social impacts our key stakeholder groups, e.g., customers, employees, investors, communities and partners.  

5.  How are we staying current on emerging and disruptive social technologies and their impact to our business?

Social is morphing before our very eyes.  Facebook is so summer of 2012.   Now that summer is over, it's time to put social technology to work to benefit your entire business.      

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