Building A Social Business – It’s Not Just About Technology

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The 8 Step Guide to Building a Social Workplace While social business has become a hot buzzword over the last few years, the evidence of success has been hard to capture and measure. Successes are much more clearly identified and defined when it comes to technology and collaboration platform adoption, but much the lines become more blurry when it comes to emotional, cultural impacts and business successes as a result of becoming a social workplace.

It’s no wonder that the industry has entered what Gartner refers to as the trough of disillusionment.

Consultant Adi Gaskell wrote The 8 Step Guide to Building a Social Workplace which reviews current trends that promise to make our workplaces more social – ranging from open innovation to crowd funding – but also identifies eight key levers that should be used to sculpt a social workplace.

The general thesis is that there are many facets of the systems within which we all work each day, whether it’s how we’re rewarded, what things are measured or how decisions are made. These things, taken collectively, therefore influence the way we behave at work. If you want to change behaviour therefore, you need to change the system so that it encourages those behaviors.

The guide goes on to highlight some examples of how this might be achieved for each of the eight levers:

  • Measurement Lever: research reveals how lighting and even sound can influence our work behaviors.
  • People Lever: job descriptions play a major role in work behavior, and whether they allow enough time or scope for us each to help our colleagues and contribute to other projects inside our organizations.
  • Measurement Lever: challenges faced when seeking to measure the impact of collaboration or innovation, and how organizations can look to overcome some of those challenges by determining the right sort of things to measure in the first place.

There are a number of interesting case studies and best practice examples, ranging from the Idea Jams implemented so successfully at IBM to how Telus applied the people lever to promote collaboration.

Overall, it’s interesting insight into how to make social business work, and comes very much as the enterprise 2.0 wave shifts its focus from to culture and behaviour.

You can purchase the book online , or check out the contents and executive summary below.


Elizabeth is a strategic communications leader with nearly 20 years’ experience in both internal and external communications. She is a trailblazer who believes traditional lines between internal and external communications are becoming a thing of the past, and thought leader in advancing organizational objectives and achieving business goals by developing multi-channel communication strategies that support corporate marketing initiatives, increase employee engagement, strengthen corporate culture, and drive company profitability. She is a passionate advocate for developing communications that foster a stronger relationship between the organization and its employees.

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