Real Rahm vs Fake Rahm and Influence

We live in some interesting social dynamic times today!  People can become other people online, in less than 3 minutes (about how long it takes to setup a twitter account).  Case in point, the “little” scenario playing out in Chicago with Rahm Emanuel’s campaign to be the next mayor of that city.

Now here is where it gets interesting check out their Klout Profiles:

@MayorEmanuel




@RahmEmanuel





























 

Now at first glance and if you did not know any better you could start following and interacting with the fake Rahm Emanuel (do you know which is which?).  If you assumed the Real Rahm would have a better influence quotient, you would have been WRONG!   So there is a Real Rahm Emanuel account on twitter @rahmemanuel, there is also a fake Rahm Emanuel account on twitter@mayoremanuel.

So if you started following the first account, you may be disappointed,  if trying to follow the real Rahm to discuss issues in the city of Chicago. You may not be disappointed if you found out you were following the fake account, because the influence thing did not matter to you that much. On a side note and personal opinion the person running the fake account is hilarious (I am sure Rahm’s campaign staff does not think so)!

After thinking about this a little further, Klout may have themselves an interesting case study.  The case study would center around online vs offline influence and the combining of the two sets of data. The reason I include offline because this is a data points Klout is figuring out to include in their algorithm, which I am fascinated and tuning in to see how they are going to get this information (have a couple ideas myself, but really curious how they are going to measure this information). Clearly if offline influence was a factor in the quotient and most likely carried a higher weight there would be a clear line of site between these two accounts.

So on face value the Fake Rahm Emanuel appears to have more influence, based on the current evaluation, but here is where it gets interesting! The Fake account has no offline influence (well it could, but we do not know who this person is yet!), but the Real Rahm Emanuel has tons of offline influence and if this was factored into the equation would that boost the score and by how much.  So this example shows how influence is way deeper than the score or reach you see in the pictures above.

Just something to think about when using data points to help produce a execution strategies and operational plans for your business.  Klout can be very helpful in these categories, but your business should not use this as an exclusive path, which I am sure I am preaching to the choir on that. What do you think is this interesting?  It will be really interesting if @mayoremanuel takes @rahmemanuel up on his $5,000 offer!

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The Social Business Swirling in my head

This will be somewhat of a shorter post for me. I know the novels are getting to be a bit much! So I was chatting away on twitter the other day and Bruce Kneuer and I bumped into each other and we started talking about the Social Business.  Now we only have a 140 characters so this is how the conversation went:

@BKneuer Question

@BKneuer Question















So after thinking about the context that was swirling around in my head I responded with this 140 characters:


@keithprivette response to @BKneuer

@keithprivette response to @BKneuer


So then Bruce kindly puts this request into me:


The 140 That Sparked a Diagram
The 140 That Sparked a Diagram


So I decided to visualize Bruce’s question into a model so I can understand what is swirling around in my head.  This is a visualization to represent how much over lap we have with people, technology, and processes to interact internally and externally at the same time.  Our customers have a much much much better idea of what our companies are, how they are ran, and who is running them.

People are curating information across the internet and basing decisions of where they place their focus, money and their time and they are not getting this information from your website or press releases…..Well enough about that! That could be another post, but no more novels in 2011, I promised Nicole Harrison.

Here is the model that represents the ideas and what action could be taken based on interconnecting within the Social Business constructs.


Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head
Social Business Ideas Swirling in My Head


So Bruce thank you for prompting with your very though provoking question.  This is what I have so far.  It is basically a model to get the people, technology, and processes working together to solve and innovate. There is a ton of details that need to be filled in and I know that.  Just thought it would be  fun and educating to share and fulfill a request for information at the same time. Open to any and all comments.

Please leave a comment below about what is missing, what you like, what you don’t like, where there is flaws, why is technology as big as the business, your cracked and stop doing this, anything!



Ooops forgot the WHY!

So the previous post talks about WHY in the title and after reviewing the post I did not even scratch the surface or even answer the question of Why.  So this post is the follow up to Why you need a Social Business Analyst.  The Business Analyst has evolved to be a very intragel part of the software development lifecycle and plays a major role (yes this is a biased opinion) in keeping the worlds of business and technology synthesized.  The role has evolved to be a skilled and well positioned professional for a company, thinking about how to integrate the business’ strategy, process, technology, and implementation of a its Social Business architecture and operations.

Just check out a google search on Social Business Jobs, you will notice many of the skill sets this implementation needs, now look at what a good Business Analyst comes with, now integrate their personal and professional social profile and BOOM the Social Business Analyst.

Here is a diagram of the dynamic skill set of the Business Analyst:


The Social Business Analyst

The Social Business Analyst



Here are some criteria to answer the question Why:

1. We know how businesses work better with technology

The Social Business Analyst is well versed at understanding what the business processes are and how they are made more efficient within technology.  This understanding is critical to implementing the Social Business, because about 70% of your business is run with technology.  The other 30% is run by people making decisions about the information coming from those technologies.  Scary, hey….not really technology has freed us up to actually have more conversations and better data for making decisions.

If you look at the Enterprise2.o & “Social Media” landscape, technology plays a huge part in your ability to execute your strategy and operations.  People will say “It’s not about the technology, blah, blah, blah!”  I disagree!  It is about technology and technology from the perspective it helps make your Social Business run efficiently, effectively and in the most cost effective way.  A Social Business analyst must know how this ever changing world of social technologies (Twitter, Youtube, LinkedIn, Jive, SocialText, Crimson Hexagon, Radian6,  and operational technologies (SAP, PeopleSoft, Concur, Salesforce.com, SAS, POS, Sterling Commerce) must integrate to make the Social Business work.


2. Organic nature of requirements gathering

Yes, you heard me right requirements come to a project or initiative in very organic and dynamic nature.  There may be methodologies methodologies step by step processes, structured traceability, but how to get and gather requirements can be rather  organic.  This typically is the best way to design solutions that people will actually use.  When you become to robotic or “order takerish” with going to meeting, gather, document, ask questions, going to another meeting, gather, document, send email, meeting…..can you see how fast collaboration, organics, and innovation gets stifled in this process.  A good Social Business Analysts does not have to think “Oh what is my next step in this methodology”, we just think this way, to easily get, analyze, model, document, use, and communicate information for the betterment of the business.



3. Document and model everything

Yes almost to a fault….but isn’t this what is going on all over consumer technologies these days.  The Social Business Analyst document requirements in an organized fashion so people can actually use the information to make decisions.  You will never see me produce a laundry list of requirements!  We make pictures for all of our words in the form of process models, state change digrams, user interface process models, conceptual data models, and wireframes (yeah we like to mock up screens to get people talking).  This helps the widest audience use information to make decisions.  Managing this information in well architected, maintained, and open tools makes a project or initiative run soooooo much smoother.  If you run projects devoid of these tools or run your organization like the “cobbler that never provides his\her children with no shoes” it will be a painful thorn in your side. I have seen both and thorns hurt!



4. We are  precocious 5 year olds when it comes to asking questions

Why do you do that?  Why is that free form text?  Why is there so many hand offs?  Why don’t you make that required?  Why not a drop down there?  Why did you change for two days ago?  Why would a customer do that? What questions do you want to ask of your information? What market-share would you like to capture? What do you want to capture from the customer engagement? How many users will you have? How will you service these requests? Who will use this?  What do you think?

See this is what we continually do when we receive information or produce it for people to talk about.  Typically the highlighted question is the one we use when we bring information to the table to discuss.  The questions we use come from a place of curiosity, fill in the blanks, connect the dots, validate the dots we have connected, and always wanting to make the business more efficient for their customers, employees, investors, and communities.



5. We love figuring out how the ecosystem works together

There are no silver bullets! We understand that to solve most business problems an ecosystem must be developed and implemented to help support the ecosystem that is the business.  Being that social, enterprise2.0, and cloud technologies are maturing everyday, businesses need people that have been maturing along with them, hence the need for the Social Business Analyst.  With the world of clouds, API’s, sharable on just about everything, consumer technology outpacing corp technology and most businesses needing to work internally and externally, a Social Business Analyst help gather, present, and make recommendations on a platform basis, not a silver bullet.



6. We like data and finding new conversations for improving

Yes based on using the information above you achieve good data in and good data out.  We continually think about the questions a business is going to have along the way once the information is being populated.  We understand the value of good data architecture, good information management, what a required field does to the process, what free form text fields vs structured data in drop downs gets you down the road.

I personally love “geeking out” with data architectes to understand how we structure the data to get it back out to make good business decisions.  Once did a project in Mexico City where every data field was in english and in spanish behind the scenes so you could run reports in spanish and english.  This skill set comes in very handy with working with monitoring tools of the social landscape.  Having a solid understanding and the ability to speak with data and information geeks will make a Social Business Analyst vital to your team.



7. Connecting the dots quickly is our DNA

The dot connecting is really evident when you go back up and look at the Social Business Analyst cube.  See the solid and dotted lines intersecting all over the place.  Those are just the dots to connect the resources together.  Now image all the dots that need to be connected across your organization…..now think about the dots connecting the internal to the external…..now lets go really big the dots that are connecting all your costumers.  Got it mapped out? Well if not a Social Business Analyst kinda sees the language of the matrix when it comes to this.  The good part, with the skills above we model, decompose the information, organize it, and “bucketize” it for easier consumption and decision making.

There is the WHY of putting this job description on the docket for 2011.   The WHY on hiring a Social Business Analyst in 2011, if you are heading down the “social” path (eventually it is the path, but that is another discussion). I do believe a the Social Business Analyst plays well in the Marketing, Advertising, Communication, Digital, Customer Service Call Center, Sales, and HR sandboxes.

What are your thoughts?  What is missing?  What were your perceptions going into this information and now what are they? Look forward to hearing from you in the comments!  I want to thank Jessi Howard for emailing some feedback on the  Social Business Analyst Job Description post (see email is not dead!) and encouraging me to explain the WHY in a little more detail.  Thank you Jessi!


What is a Social Business Analyst and why YOU need one!

I have been kicking around this idea about what I want to do next and thought “It is a New Year, right!”  So I thought to myself “Hey if you write a job description so people can understand the role, skills, and projects I would be looking for!”  Additionally, people kept asking “What the hell is a Social Business Analyst?”

A Social Business Analyst is a role, skill set is deeply rooted in understanding how businesses run and applying how that business can run within technology.  With the ever growing maturity of the Social Business architecture and operations, a Social Business Analyst comes with the above mentioned DNA, they also have infused not only living in the social business community, they know how to apply skills and techniques to build, document, test, and implement what it means for the business and it’s people.

There are some similar architectural principles, processes, and tools, but every business, culture, and business DNA is different.  One size does not fit all and a great Social Business Analyst will be a huge asset to the team and company in making the shift to becoming a Social Business.

Here is what a Social Business Analyst Job description would look like:

 

 

 

 

Purpose:

Business Analyst plays an important role in a lot of aspects of a company. A business analyst’s job involves a lot of research, data analysis and to some extent problem solving.  The BA is responsible for the success of the Requirements Definition (RD) Process including system requirement definition, business scenario development, conceptual and logical modeling, class diagramming, conceptual wireframing, and tools used to make information processing more efficient for initiative team.  The BA supports application development in the Systems Domain.

The BA must understand the social landscape from an internal and external context. They must have participated in different online communities and technologies and be proficient at understanding the context and potential.  The BA must be a facilitator of training, coaching, and mentoring the utilization of new tools and cultures that develop based on people utilizing these new tools.  The BA works closely with tool vendors, social business consultants and other firms to ensure the business scenarios and technologies fit the Enterprise as well as individual units responsible for owning the context of the business execution.  The BA must navigate and integrate the ecosystem of people, processes, and technologies from a culture and community aspect for planning and execution for operational success.

The BA understands the technology and business environments, application and process capabilities, and architectural constraints, and is capable of leveraging and successfully applying this information to bring the best solution forward.  The BA works closely with Business Representatives (Supply Chain, Distribution, Marketing, HR, Communications, Customer Service, Product Development, and any other Business Unit you have for executing the Business), Application Architects, Data Analysts and Software Developers to provide analytical support to ensure system and business requirements are clearly documented and understood during the design and development of the application.  The BA owns and manages system and business requirements definition. The BA participates in a supporting role in the overall design and development of the technology solutions.  The BA must be able to resolve conflicts in non-threatening manner.  The BA must be able to communicate effectively both verbally and written requirements.

Job Duties:

The job of a Social Business Analyst involves many aspects that span from business operations to technology implementation. It requires them to have constant interaction with the clients / customers and for them to be able to provide appropriate solutions in a timely manner. A Social Business Analyst will need to have good understanding of Business, Technology, and Culture of Social (eventually it will be the way a business is run, but must mature just like other business organizations like HR, Marketing, or Legal).  Here is a visual representation of where the job duties will fall:

Social Business Analyst - Current

Social Business Analyst - Current

Social Business Analyst - Future

Social Business Analyst - Future

A summary of the job duties of a Social Business Analyst are given below.  Many of the job duties fall within each one of the specific spheres above and can be applied to Business, Technology and Social.  A Social Business Analyst is going to need to perform many of these duties simultaneously, which is part of BA’s DNA.  Many of these job duties can be spotted on a resume based on project work, but can only be assessed by interacting online and or face to face interviews.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Opportunity Analysis

 

  • Identifies cause-and-effect relationships and implementing solutions to address causes.
  • Selects the most appropriate course of action.
  • Develops initiates or leads an effort to improve procedures or implement new approaches for supporting solutions to problems or opportunities.
  • Modifies their own behavior with the need, priorities and goals of the organization’s changing circumstances.
  • Comprehends appropriate channels to quickly expedite customer services and deliverables.
  • Demonstrates knowledge of the IT organization’s customers, policies and practices.
  • Demonstrates a sufficient overall knowledge of technology to use internal and external resources of technology assistance effectively.
  • Formulates specifications for complex systems or application programs.
  • Stays abreast of new developments and attends professional development activities.
  • To be able to understand and collect all the business requirements of the clients as well as partners a part of the initiative
  • Making of proposals and interacting with the client to ensure that the solutions that are being suggested are what he or she want and that they are viable enough to be implemented.
  • Conducting basic analysis and research of the industry that the customer belongs to.
  • Prepare and define the scope of the project.
  • Determining the effort and the cost of the project.
  • Drafting business requirements.
  • Interacting and working with a team to ensure that they understand the project requirements and deliver solutions accordingly.
  • Sets an example by behaving in ways that are consistent with company vision and values.
  • Creates an environment in which employees have ownership of their jobs and area able to achieve job expectations.
  • Assumes ownership and accountability for own performance management.
  • Projects personal and company high standards and develops constructive, trusting relationships in all interactions.
  • Assesses one’s own strengths and weaknesses and takes actions to improve.

 

Requirements Analysis

 

  • Translates pure business elements and functions as well as technological concepts into language that is understandable to the audiences receiving the information.
  • Identifies and analyzes problems and opportunities based on business and IT strategic and tactical goals, objectives, and visions.
  • Analyzes business processes problems and opportunities based on business strategic and tactical goals, objectives, and visions.
  • Works at one’s own discretion, independently of outside influence or control, contributing to high morale and group commitment that supports goals and objectives.
  • Originates action to achieve goals or influence events beyond what is mandatory.
  • Restates the content and feelings expressed in information received from the spoken communication of others accurately.
  • Communicates effectively, in both verbal and written form, with diverse groups, regardless of level or function.
  • Sensitive to hierarchical structures of groups and organizations.
  • Seeks ways of going beyond the limits set by structure to help bring out the best in individuals and groups.
  • Encourages highly energized, productive, inclusive and meaningful participation and knows how to engage people in planning and decision making.
  • Conducts meetings to obtain, qualify and evaluate information to support the definition and clarification of requirements and needs.
  • Understands what customers really want and then measures actions and improvements against that vision.
  • Provides friendly, caring service and handles any customer situation with confidence and a sense of urgency.
  • Develops rapport, mutual trust and understanding of customers overall business and related computing needs.
  • Produces and communicates the meaning of business process and domain models.
  • Creates business cases to provide support or definition to the strategic direction of a business area
  • Studies situations and actions, separating them into parts, and identifying common elements, themes, and risks.
  • Seeks growth of knowledge an understanding of customers, business, industries, technologies, processes and systems.
  • Identifies and analyzes system objects and presents the findings in a manner that supports facilitation to differing audiences.
  • Gathers, organizes and evaluates information in a logical systematic fashion, recognizes patterns and similarities between past and present and across customers and industries.
  • Produces and communicates the meaning of system process and domain models.
  • Understands the relationship of business processes and domain models to system models.
  • Identifies the specific data elements and their attributes as they relate to business needs for returning and reporting information.
  • Identifies the sources of data and how the data is used and interacts with systems and applications.
  • Identifies the specific data structures as they relate to the sources and targets in order to facilitate collection, storage, and extraction of data.

 

Requirements Management

 

  • Identifies and determines the impact to changing requirements on scope and development effort.
  • Traces requirements to understand dependencies.
  • Utilizes people effectively by allocating responsibilities and authority to them as appropriate.
  • Mentors for knowledge, skill and behavior development.
  • Identifies and offers opportunities to learn and develop.
  • Participates in cross-functional teams to work on problems or opportunities.
  • Works cooperatively with other team members to accomplish goals.
  • Develops effective work relationships on all levels of the organization.
  • Plan, tracks, and manages the components required to support successful completion of projects.
  • Adheres to project management methodology to staff and projects or significant assignments.
  • Follows current enterprise standards and methods to provide consistency in the environment using preferred tools and techniques.
  • Identifies the need for new or improved standards and methods to provide better communication and stability within the technology and business areas.
  • Assigns resources, ideas, time and people to accomplish a goal.
  • Uses criteria to determine the relative importance of problems/goals/options.

 

 

Knowledge and Skills

  • An understanding of .NET/J2EE/HTML/PHP/JS/HTML5/FBML
  • Understanding or working knowledge of API’s, Integration Technologies, Mobile, Data Modeling
  • An understanding of Social Technologies such as Twitter, Facebook, Tweetdeck, Hootsuite, Youtube, Disqus, Pluck, WordPress, Posterous, Sharable Widgets, JIVE, Newsgator, Sharepoint, RSS Readers and Socialtext.  Must have an understanding of integrating these tools and technologies internally and or externally or both
  • An understanding of Social Monitoring Tools configurations, implementation, and reporting such as  Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, Lithium, Google Analytics, and Google Alerts.  Must have an understanding of what is needed and how to use working knowledge is a must.
  • An understanding of applications for managing customers, employees, and businesses management information such as Siebel, MS Dynamics, Salesforce.com, NetSuite, Peoplsoft, SAP, Kenexa, Taleo
  • An understanding of analysis concepts, database design, SQL, UML and software engineering is an added advantage.
  • Excellent presentation, written and oral skills.
  • Working knowledge of Software Development Lifecycles and methodologies and tools to get technology.  These would include Visio, Quality Center, Jira, Caliber, MSTFS, BluePrint, Sharepoint, Clarity, Basecamp

 

Educational Qualifications and Experience

    • B.A. or B.S. degree in Information Systems, Computer Science, Marketing, Communication, Journalism, or related field, or equivalent work experience
    • 10+ years of systems and/ or business analysis or design experience in a systems or technical type role (e.g., application development, use of SDLC)
    • 5+ years of personal experience with utilizing and participating with Social Technologies and Online Communities
    • 10+ years of Business experience within Retail, Healthcare, Financial Services, Product Management, Software, Government, and or Non-Profit
    • Works on extremely complex problems; assignments involve new technologies or new applications; recognized as enterprise-wide resource
    • Assist in the definition of objectives to support project success, review and track the completion
    • Mentor other associates within the IT and Business disciplines.
    • Assigned projects of critical importance to support of key customers, development of new projects of strategic importance
    • Exercises independent judgment in developing methods, techniques and evaluation criteria for obtaining results.
    • Prior experience in dealing with technical teams.
    • Prior experience working on rapid technical development and collaborative project environments.
    • Experience in drafting proposals.

 

So this is the job description I am looking for in 2011.  Does this job description exist yet?  No it does not?! That is why I am proposing it so the folks figuring out their 2011 plans and budgets may take this into consideration.  If companies have these types of questions going into 2011; “What do we need to infuse Social into our company?” “What types of jobs and people do we need to hire?” “Do we have the job descriptions for hiring new types of roles at our company?” Hopefully this job description would answer some of those questions.

What do you think? Would you add to this job description?  Please feel free to use this within your companies it can only further my chances of landing this career path somewhere in the near future!  Happy planning and budgeting for 2011 and make sure to make room for me, my skills, and my job description!

 

 


Want your Social Business Group to succeed, report to the C-Suite

We have begun the era of businesses turning the corner of complete change in the way they are managed internally to be more affectively run externally for their customers, investors, and communities.  There are many blog posts, articles, and conferences being dedicated to this very topic.  Since it is relatively new on the business management landscape, people and companies are trying to figure out what works, what does not, and what does the future hold.

I decided to take a stab at the actual organizational setup, roles and types of people that will strategize, plan, operationalize, and support the social business structure.  The one common sentiment that appears quite often is “how do we get buy-in from senior leaders and the c-suite”  I think the best way to get buy-in is to have direct reporting and governance over the organization, people, goals, objectives and measurement of success.  This gives the senior leaders direct line of site to the people and structure for it to succeed.


Wikipedia Definition of a Social Business:

social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective. The profits are used to expand the company’s reach and improve the product/service. This model has grown from the work of Muhammad Yunus and others.  Social business is a cause-driven business. In a social business, the investors/owners can gradually recoup the money invested, but cannot take any dividend beyond that point. Purpose of the investment is purely to achieve one or more social objectives through the operation of the company, no personal gain is desired by the investors.

I really like this approach to the definition of a Social Business!  It seems a more practical and applicable to most business settings today, whether it is a private, public or non-profit type of organization.

Peter Kim of Dachis Group

Its goal: helping organizations improve value exchange among constituents.  Social Business Design uses a framework of four mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive archetypes: ecosystem, hivemind, dynamic signal, and metafilter. This model can be applied to improve customer participation, workforce collaboration, and business partner optimization. Doing so provides insight to help measure and manage business to produce improved and emergent outcomes.  To learn more, I encourage you to read our complete thinking behind the concept of Social Business Design.


Here is my diagram of an approach to structuring your social business group organizationally. This will be the basis of the ideas below:

 

Org Chart Social Business Group

Org Chart of the Social Business Group


There are some main components for this structure to be affective and effectively run. The following will be discussed in this post:

1. Planning

2. Business Metrics

3. Get the People out there

4. Eclectic Group of Roles and People

5. Solid Line and Dotted Line Management

6. Reverse Mentoring


1. Planning

The planning is a critical function of the Social Business.  The planning has to have an understanding of the collective needs and wants of the organization.  A centralized function around planning will provide an enterprise view of all the competing needs and wants of the organization. What the Social Business Group will have the ability to do is collectively prioritize all of these competing needs of all your organizations.  One of the byproducts of this centralized planning of the internal and external social business is that silo’d organizations start to share goals, objectives, and measurements of success.

The planning also leads a more collaborative effort to tactical and operational execution of these needs and wants.  The Social Business Group will have the ability to flow work back and forth between their group and organizations that will more than likely have the people to execute the tactics.  Depending on the needs and wants the Social Business Group can execute for an organization, which allows organizations within the enterprise to expand and contract based on the needs and wants.  This cuts down on hiring for duplicate resources for tactical execution.  The Social Business Group can synthesize organizations inside the enterprise to leverage one resource for these execution tactics, instead of 4 organizations hire 4 people and they end up all doing the same thing and costing the company four times as much.  This group ensures the planning and execution of the social business both internally and externally.


2. Business Metrics

The Social Business Group is driven by Financial and Non-Financial metrics.  This group will be responsible for continually monitoring the effectiveness of the needs and wants based on pure financial returns, non-financial activities that will help drive financial return, and reviewing short and long term course correcting success.  The Social Business Group will be held responsible for reporting the success and or failures of executing needs and wants.  This group will be held to review activities in the future.

So if the need or want has a business case of a return of financial investment in 3 years, when that 3rd year rolls around the group will be responsible for reporting on these numbers.  If the numbers are not reached there will be accountabilities and responsibilities that will need to be explained and corrected to find a new program to find that return or documented so history does not repeat itself.  There will be a repository built for keeping track of these programs.  The following areas below could be some areas that the Social Business Group will be responsible for planning, executing and supporting on an ongoing basis

a. The hiring and retention of employees

b. Finding leads to and tracking the success of closing for financial success

c. Increasing customer satisfaction

d. Increasing market-share for a product or service

e. Increasing spend within the current loyal customer base.

f. Decreasing expensive Call Center phones and leverage more online customer service channels

g. Drive purchasing on niche markets with niche ways of marketing and advertising.

h. Decrease operating costs by reducing duplication of efforts across the silo’d organizations.

These are just some of the financial and non-financial accountabilities and responsibilities the people, processes, projects and technologies will have in this group.  To achieve any of these metrics the Social Business Group must be sharing, collaborating and ensuring people and technologies are working together to achieve.  The days of silo’d achievement metrics are over if you want to succeed.  Success is NOT derived in silos anymore.  Unless there is a group fully dedicated to ensure shared metrics are achieved then they really are never achieved.  Look at your goals and objectives for 2011 see any shared goals with other silos and your bonus tied to if achieved or not…….didn’t think so.


3. Get the People out there

The Social Business Group does not sit in cubes all day long taking orders or waiting for the next project come in.  They are fully integrated with all business functions throughout the organization.  They need to seek out the individuals that want to energize the company using new collaborative processes and technologies internally and externally.  Most businesses are operating outside their firewall with business partners as well as consumers and investors.  This group is always seeking ways to understand the flow of information for decision making and moving the organization and its people forward.

This group is responsible for making sure there are seamless leveraging of the processes and technologies. This group is held to a make sure groups are interacting sharing and collaborating to ensure shareable metrics achievement, sharing of successes and failures, and reusing as much process, information and technology as possible.  This cuts down on 8 monitoring tools for 6 different organizations and 6 different groups managing their business and people in a silo.  This is complicated and not much costly.  The organizations cannot honestly report if they are being successful for the organization as a whole without the infusion of the group ensuring cross collaboration and initiative completion.

About 60 to 70% of these folks will have community management in their DNA.  They will always be seeking out people, technologies, and paths to succeed.  They will continually look to help, but within helping discovering new ways the organization or people can achieve success.  This group of folks will be involved and engaged behind the firewall as well as beyond it.


4. Eclectic Group of Roles and People

The Social Business Group looks very different than most traditional organizations within the enterprise.  Since the group will need to be proactive as well as reactive when it comes to technology, people, problems, issues, and solutions, they need to have this eclectic look, feel and interaction, mainly between the people and technology.  Organizations will no longer have the ability to isolate the process from the technology or the people that asks for technology and the people that deliver technology.  This group will be a reflection of the mantra “Business is IT and IT is Business”

This group will have marketing, business technologists, subject matter experts, project managers, art directors, call center operations leaders, interactive technologists, “infrastructurists”…..This will be an eclectic group of individuals working together to make the group be efficient and the enterprise to be efficient in the execution of needs and wants.  This group will be responsible for blending all things traditional with new,  this silo and that silo and business and technology in specifically in the areas of:

  • Marketing
  • Advertising
  • Public Relations
  • Customer Service
  • Knowledge Sharing
  • Communication
  • Initiative Management and Metrics
  • Product\Service Management


This group will keep the ecosystem of internal and external in balance and understand when it is not in balance.  They will have the ability to understand and react because the relationships of trust have been built with key partner groups and issues or innovations can help efficiently because the time and people were involved all along the way.  The only way to achieve this balance is to have an eclectic team working for the betterment of the organization as well as themselves.


The following picture shows the different roles or titles that will reside inside the Social Business Group for the enterprise:

titles in social business group
titles in social business group



5. Solid Line and Dotted Line Management

The solid and dotted line organizational structure is the most interesting of organizational design.  The solid line gives you control and dotted gives you influence or responsible for execution.  Both of these relationships are completely necessary for this organizational structure to work.  It essentially boils down to top down and bottoms up meeting up for organizational success and execution.  The dotted line provides visibility and shared responsibility in making sure each organization is successful on its own as well as part of the whole organization.

Having the dotted line to these organizational units shows solidarity with these organizations as well as a shared responsibility that if this organization needs to be working with another organization or an organization could use another organizations resources or help; this group ensures and communicates these actions.

With the solid line in place to c-suite this group is responsible and accountable for organization goals, objectives, mission, metrics and return. There is no red tape, there are no trickle down or roll ups, there are just direct line of site of investment and return for the whole organization. This essentially becomes an strategy, planning, operations and tactical execution area for the executive office and officers.  Being that most Executive Offices represent the whole organization, they should have a group dedicated to making this a reality.  A SWAT Team for the Executive Office of real hard core business and technology planners and executors that are flexible and adaptable  for real return for the organization.


6. Reverse Mentoring

The senior leaders of most companies need to be brought up the digital and community interaction landscape. By leveraging the solid line organizational structure the Social Business Group is responsible for training and educating of the people they are reporting to. This will help with vision, business direction, business decisions, and investment.  I have found once you unlock the navigation and using the tools within internal and external communities, senior leaders feel a part and then take the responsibility for furthering the execution and success of the Social Business structure for their organization.  Once the senior leaders can see how shared goals, responsibility, and information are used for true financial returns they cannot get enough of the interactions with the people and tools.

This is for the betterment of the organization and the people.  The one thing I would caution against doing is isolating this group from the rest of their people while they “get up to speed”.  Building “walled gardens” for them to play to learn will have adverse affects when trying to integrate back into the fold of the whole company.  In their “walled gardens” the senior executive WILL NOT get the sense of all perspectives from top to bottom, because they are only learning from their peers.  The public learning together does a lot for building trust and relationships in an organization at all levels.

So what do you think?  Will this work in your organization?  Do you see any other benefits to this centrally located organization? Please let me know in the comments.  Don’t get me wrong, this is not going to be easy.  This one won’t be just snap together a org. chart on a powerpoint and it happens.  This one takes into account the people and behaviors that will need to change along with this.

Like I infamously put it at a #jmu612 event here in Minneapolis “We are fundamentally changing the way business has been done for the last 50 years,  if you try and take this on yourself or within one silo’d organization, it’s like climbing Mt Everest in your boxer shorts, you’re never going to make it!” You need a team, you need buy-in, you need technology and you need new ways.  Without it,  good luck….


Opt-In checkbox is not 2-way, but it can be!

Currently we have this thing about customers opting in or opting out.   If they opt out most companies pine over how can we get them to opt in and continually push market in a shot gun fashion around them hoping someone will forward it to them…..costly.

On the other side you have the people that opt in and what do businesses turn around and do, push market the hell out of these customers. No analysis done around who should get what message, when, why and then the customer gets the dreaded noreply@ email address in the From: so you cannot communicate your frustration with said business……ummm costly and annoying.

So how does the opt in become a two way form of communication between businesses and customers. Data, yes the sexy ever glamorous darling of the businesses, Data. Yeah right who I kidding data is not sexy, but it sure is useful! What businesses need to do is partner with their customer around data.  The customer has the ability to proactively collect a lot of information about themselves now and the data the business collect about the customer has holes in it to be affective. Typically most businesses have cookies, email address and minimum information about connecting the exact purchases done by their customers.

With so many customers collecting, storing, analyzing, and utilizing their data to make personal business decisions, like where I buy, how much can I spend, and how much I have spent. On the flip side businesses are collecting, storing, and analyzing the data they are collecting with one two pieces or really three pieces of demographic data missing First Name, Last Name, and email address tied to purchasing actions.  Missing the actual person and who they are leaves gaping holes in analyzing to take the correct actions.   Being able to line the data profile the customer is building and data profile based on a Cookie ID can lead to a powerful conversation, trust relationship and actual deepening the selling and buying between the two.

Enter a company like Buyosphere! They are allowing customers to store and maintain all the purchases they make based on the receipts they can obtain online and eventually the receipts they receive offline, then get them to their online profile. This purchasing information is the start of the two opt-in of sharing information between businesses and customers. With the customers currating and storing their purchasing data and most businesses wanting to know their First Name, Last Name and email address on those purchases, why not have conversations about sharing this  information with each other. Businesses that are in a more brick and mortar setting need to find ways to get this purchase information to their customers!  Plus we can save a whole lot of trees by not giving out paper receipts too…

Businesses need to invest in emailing receipts to the customer at the time of purchase, giving them a way to enter a code online to get the electronic receipt once they get online, start putting QR codes on the receipt, or maybe bumping phone to POS to get receipt record onto phone (keep in mind this only covers 30% of customers with smartphones).

What this allows the customer to do is curate their purchases and share the data socially or privately with the businesses they are demonstrating purchasing power with said business. This is the start of the 2-way Opt-In partnership around purchasing power using the opt-in as the contract, the handshake, the trust. The businesses offering these types of services and two way opt-in relationships will be able to increase marketshare, service customers based on mutual respect based on buying and selling, and keep the customers you have long term. In business keeping the ones you have is waaaaaay cheaper than always trying to acquire new.  I do believe if the customer felt a little more in control of this opting-in action they would probably be more willing to opt-in!  I know I would!

Now the flip side of this 2-way Opt-In relationships are the businesses and needing to earn the trust with this Customer information and not get all up in their customer’s grillz with their Pushy MCPusherton marketing and advertising.  They have to allow the relationship to build and grow.  With always checking in after sending your Customers information, like “How did that feel, was it pushy?” or “Did we hit the mark based on your activity?” This will gain trust and loyalty like nothing before.  Image the cost reductions of trying to acquire new costumers and increasing the spend by already existing customer.  Just remember this is earned in the long term and screwed up in an instant. Gut feeling is most businesses would have more fun interacting with their Customers too.  Employees would have more satisfaction about a job well done or finding new ways to strengthens the relationship with their Customers.  I see productivity gains and reducing talent turning over, which is reduction of  expenses.  When you make you company fun with happy Customers and happy employees really cool things can happen!

So go forth and build and synthesize your data businesses and customers, the economy will thank you!  “In the form of a wholly logical data model, in the form of a buying river!”


Social Media+Technology+Outdoors misfits or fit

So you have seen me talk a lot about how Social Media, Technology, and the Outdoors lately so I wanted to write a post about these Misfits or Fit for connecting us as people. Yes I know you probably read that first sentence and said to yourself  “What? Are you kidding me I go to the outdoors to get away from all this wacky stuff!” Sorry to tell you, your data is calling your bluff.   Yes I would not be totally “transparent” (for my big word users) if I did not agree with that statement a little….but I am going to start a discussion that hopefully has a long tail for outdoor retailers, outdoorsy people, technology retailers, technology innovators, government agencies, non-profits and businesses that relay on people engaging and communicating with the tools and technologies in the outdoors.

Ok here we go. I have been part of many outdoor activities since moving to Minnesota. I have duck hunted, deer hunted, fished, boated, hiked, canoed, motorcycled, rode bike, skied, ice fished, and my favorite RV camping. After reading that list were you like really? Yes the suit 5 days a week is my Clark Kent side. So living an outdoors lifestyle (and believe me there are people way more hardcore at this than I) as well as being involved in many online social communities I have been watching, listening and participating and discovering some patterns that I want to explore with people, companies, and organizations.

I have thought through some initial ideas to get this conversation and action going on how social media+technology+outdoors are truly socially connecting us on and offline for good. I want to explore the data, social objects that people are putting out there, for deeper and richer connections between the people, their technologies, the outdoors, the brands that support these activities, the brands that support them, and how to create real return on investment (have a couple of real dollars in real dollars out ideas) by companies and consumers in this space. Yes, I know the initial reactions are “Keith you are crazy people go to the outdoors to get away from technology and especially social media” Well unfortunately, your data is telling a different story…..so you may want to have a talk with it!

I have teamed up with the fine folks managing the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis/St. Paul in particular Rick Mahn to leverage the rich social media savvy, technology curious, and experienced people in this community to bring this to light. I have also been in contact with many local providers of products and services within the outdoor space to participate in a the discussion as well to see where this conversation goes. Currently these fine folks have signed up for the first part of a two part plan to kick off the engagement, discussion, ideas, collaborations, co-creations, and real business that can be done based on this topic. The outdoor industry accounts for $5.075 billion dollars in 2009 that is just the retail side selling products and services.  Then when you couple in the resorts, campgrounds, guide businesses, hotels, rental shops, RV Boat ATV Dealerships, restaurants, technology services and social media tool side of that money and there are many many many systemic value points to listen, engage, make happy, service to convert into real dollar values.

The participants to kick off the discussion will be as follows:

  • Molly Solberg from Duluth Pack: Molly is the Director of Social Media and Business Development for Duluth Pack.  She is actively managing the twitter account as well as Duluth Pack Blog.  Molly has also initiated a Social Media Breakfast Duluth community also! She not only works for a 128 year outdoor company, but she lives and breathes the outdoor lifestyle in her personal life too.
  • Kim Opitz representing Crestliner as a vendor: Crestliner (twitter acct) celebrates 65 years as an innovator in the aluminum market; delivering a complete line of fishing, fish and ski, pontoon and jon boats to enthusiastic consumers across the United States and Canada. You can find them engaging their communities at Facebook, Flickr, Youtube, andVimeo
  • Adam Jochum from Crow River Coffee Company: Adam runs Crow River Coffee Company in Watertown, MN.  He has graciously offered up his studio that normally broadcasts Spacevidcast.com live.  His studio will allow us to have fully interactive discussion with a live feed of the social platforms as well as a livestreaming of the discussion.  This is cool! Adam and Crow River totally fits social media+technology+outdoors, because who doesn’t drink coffee in the outdoors.  It is a great themed back drop to the whole first part of this experience.
  • Rick Mahn from Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul: Rick has an extensive IT background and understanding of infrastructure, Rick brings the knowledge and skill to help build your personal or professional network through years of exploration of social media, learning its strengths and weaknesses. His practical experience in the industry combined with his love of communication and team building have enabled him to bridge the gap between personal and professional networking with great success.  Rick is also one of the founding members of the Social Media Breakfast Minneapolis St. Paul.  Rick has established a community of well over 2,000+ community members here in Minneapolis St. Paul. We will have to confirm during our livestreaming discussion but I do believe he is the Social Media Title holder for most community members, longest consistently running SMB, and the SMB with the most sessions 29, to date.  We will ask him!

So that is the first part of the plan.  Now for the meaty, juicy, slap some pepper jack cheese and big piece of bacon on part two of this plan. Rick and I have had several discussions about how we can take this discussion into the outdoors and really see if we can fully make the equation of social media+technology+outdoors come to life.  I do believe we have hit on a plan……now before I go any further you will have to wait a little for part two, but I think we will make it worth the wait, right Rick!

So here is the plan a 2 day Social Media Breakfast camping experience at a campground.

  • The tentative agenda would look something like this:
  • Day 1 Arrive at the Campground, SMB’ers with or without families set up campsites and connect throughout the day.  Meet each other.  Meet sponsors. Meet each others families.  Maybe have some technology based contests.  Hopefully we have some vendors, retailers, service provides that would like to participate in their element.
  • Day 2 The regularly scheduled SMB would take place from 8am to 10am. This would be at a couple of the campsites sitting around the campfire ring (with or without fire….still deciding) with hopefully the same participants (maybe even some more based on the longtail discussion) from the livecast discussing what has happened since the livecast, what is on the near horizon, and what does the future look like. This would be a fully interactive discussion, hence in the circle around the campfire ring.This camping adventure would take place sometime in May or Jun 2011.

The livecast of this discussion will take place on October 13th, 2010 starting at 7:30pm.  Yes we are doing a livecast with video, chat and twitter stream!  So start preparing questions or comments that are on your mind?  What areas would you like us to touch on?  I am really looking forward to this ongoing discussion.  Any person and business is welcomed to just jump in where ever.  I have even thought about starting a bi-weekly or monthly twitter chat under the #hashtag of #smtochat, but we will take 1st things first.  Lets see how the livecast goes!  Be on the look out for details and links to the live webcast!

Additionally, I want this to be an ongoing discussion, so if want to continue the discussion after the livecast just use the hashtag #smoutside10.  At anytime we think that another livcast should take place with different participants, it is a ok too.  If anyone wants to give me a 2011Keystone Springdale 303BHSSR you could do that too (I am totally kidding……our beloved @pulling was totaled out in a hailstorm this year).  This is definitely going to be a community effort.  Leave some comments, we would love to hear from you!


Cross Pollinating Verticals to avoid the Echo of the Chamber

So I bet you are asking yourself  “what the hell does cross pollinating verticals mean you crazy crazy person you?” I am going to explain how it came about and why it has become part of my idea to strategy to planning to action taking mantra.  Ok it did start out from a little snark and sass to address some of things I was seeing at conferences (mainly live feeds across the interwebs) and one off sessions with organizations across the web also.

Because my day job is somewhat, well actually totally not related to social media, marketing, advertising, recruiting, communication or external customer service.  I take advantage of being connected to so many wonderful people that tweet out conference #hashtags, send livefeed links on their twitter, facebook, eventbrite, meetup and linkedin social feeds to get to some great information.

I started to notice in presentations and presenters language many many many big words being used to explain very simple everyday actions. The word honest turned into trustworthy, be yourself turned into authenticity, people turned into human capital, and the best open turned into transparency. I do believe people sometimes think if they use big words they are more credible, believable, and intelligence.  I will agree it does show intelligence, but in a book smart way and not in a real world, street smart way.    So having a little moment of rebellion I figured if I want to be consider a thought leader I better start putting some big words in my arsenal.

I know I know very 5th grade, but I thought let’s go with this and see where it goes.  So I was at lunch with a couple of people (probably at The Newsroom) out came “Cross Pollinating Verticals” during a conversation.   Of course I got the “What the hell does that mean?”, so I began explaining my perspective of what I was observing in presentations and conversations.   Cross Pollinating Verticals is really the basic action of talking, asking, or meeting with people that are not in your organizational, professional, or skill set vertical.   I do believe this also clearly articulates how I view my networking and professional development.  I do believe if this path was explored more and more by people, it could start creating the systemic market and people changes we need for the future (sorry no data just a gut feel).

It seems that we spend too much time in our own industries and skill set or title.  This is not bad thing, because yes you need to keep up on the trends, people, topics, regulations, legislation, technologies, and processes.  The only drawback, focusing on your industry, you are only talking and interacting with people that agree or often have the same point of view as you.  Now with the explosion of the social platforms you have complete access to information, people, and technologies to other people’s industries! The beauty of majority of people from every industry continually sharing publicly anyone can share in the conversation.  This will only lead to enrich and enhance the conversation because you are getting it from the audience of your industry.

For example I follow many recruiters and human resource people on twitter.  Many of the conversations are between people within the recruiter and human resource industry, which leads to many agreements and very little diversification of points of view.  Well enter a non-recruiter or non-human resource industry person, me. I am their audience, I am the people they are trying to help, I am the people they are gently trying to manage, I am a person they should hear from…..right?  This is unadulterated access to their constituency, right?  That is what every industry that has an audience wants!

You can ask questions, have conversations, and beta new ideas, that is of course if they are interacting with their audience.  I just used Recruiter and Human Resource vertical as an example, I jump into many verticals marketing, PR, communications, etc. I even have followed a twitter chat for Student Affairs for colleges and universities!   So I encourage people while networking, viewing people to follow, having conversations, and posing questions look for people not within your industry, professional, or skill set vertical to really enhance your conversations, points of view, and “third box over” type thinking.  Being that I love finding people not like myself, it has led to finding some real and enriching conversations about problems to be solved.

So next time when you are looking to follow a person, a conf hashtag, send request to someone on linkedin, or post a comment on a blog do it outside your designated vertical and see what happens!  What would be even better if you came back and drop a note on this post to show others real world examples of this!  That would mean you Cross Pollinated a Vertical!

 


A Business Analyst on a Social Media Team….Blasphemy!

Well that seems to be the general feeling I get discussing this topic with marketing, communications, pr, and leadership in those groups. So I am going to present why this role is highly suited for being part of the social team. The core skills and specialties of this role make integrating social strategies, processes, and technologies for problem solving and innovation essential to be apart of these newly forming teams. The following are my reasons to challenge the blasphemy or heresy perspective and rhetoric!

A Business Analyst………


1. Looks at problems and assesses viable solutions using people, process & technology

Yes the Business Analyst realizes there is no silver bullet. You need all three aspects of people, process, and technology to problem solve or innovate. The Business Analyst is aware the solutions will work these things as an ecosystem. The Business Analyst will ask the right questions, document the information gathered, analyze that information and have the ability to put that information into readable content for business and technology disciplines to understand. Business Analysts helps the social media project teams co-create these solutions in a rapid fashion because we understand how and what the ecosystem needs for execution. One of the biggest soft skills we use is curiosity to discover information. With every problem or potential idea to innovation we turn into a 5 year old kid discovery their world around them…..we all know a 5 year old right?

2. Diggs for information to get solutions

Business Analysts are tenacious to find, illicit, document, and fix information for a solid solution for a problem or innovation. We are good at asking questions for clarification, we will admit when we don’t understand or don’t know, but with that admission we will educate, find, and ask again if need be. This is all done from a place of curiosity, wanting the people, project, and organization to succeed. We explore the possibilities of where it could be or what it could be. All along the way we keep documenting with content to ensure we have words, pictures, and prototypes to make better fact based decisions. Well on occasion a little leap of faith based on experience is needed to be worked in also. The question why comes up a lot, but in a curious manner. That is the best way to spot a good business analyst! How do they ask the question Why?

3. Documents for review, clarity, and decision making

Documentation, Documentation, Documentation……yes I know what you are thinking. Good Business Analysts make this documentation flexible, dynamic, and not set in stone. Every hour on a project or a team the information you need to make good decisions changes. Now with social we see this information changing every minute. You need a role that can absorb information and categorize and reproduce in a rapid fashion. Now think about all the disciplines operating on a social media team: interactive designers, creatives, lawyers, HR, marketing, advertising, technical architect, infrastructure architect, testers, project managers, customers, call center reps, PR, Communications, etc etc. Yes I take the approach the social media\social business team internal and external are one team (future post on social business, enterprise2.0, and social media is much larger and more dynamic than what I have seen at any company today). Think about all the information that is being created that needs to be curated and reproduced for decision making and impact analysis.

4. Presents information for diverse audiences

Business Analysts are smack dab right in the middle of the ecosystem. Being that we have functioned within the Business culture and Technology cultures we have to take all the information above and synthesize this information for non-business people understand businesses and non-techie people understand the worlds of technology. With this skill set comes the ability to fashion a presentation around 1 screen or one process model or one requirements traceability diagram. Oh there is that word Requirements. Those silly little information snippets that cause most projects headaches and heartburn, if not gathered, managed, and traced to other forms of requirements to ensure connectability and workability of the solution or innovation. All your business, test, project, and technical information should plug into the requirements traceability hierarchy…..another blog post hey? Oh and the presentation does not mean powerpoint, most good Business Analysts want to present diagrams or working prototypes based on the requirement statements.

Information Integration with a Social Business Analyst

5. Talk business and tech languages and dialects

Yes we speak that foreign language called “techie”, but we do speak a special dialect of “techie” called “biz techie”. Yes that is right we understand how technology makes businesses work and how businesses make technology work. I do believe this is probably most crucial part of being apart of the social media team. Majority of the execution of the social media\business plan and strategy will be done through technologies or technologies will be apart of most of the activities. Business Analysts can quickly and effectively put together the tools and processes necessary for social media execution and operationalization for long term success.

The Social Business Analyst

The Social Business Analyst

So there you have it the blasphemic reasons why you need to really start looking at this role, skill, and people with the Business Analyst title to be apart of your social media\business team. Now a word of warning some folks are walking around with just the t-shirt that says they are a Business Analyst. It is a little like me wearing a professional baseball teams uniform and calling myself a professional baseball player.

So what do you think sound advice or blasphemy? Need to hire or heresy? Leave a comment and let me know what you think!

 


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