In an era of Digital Darwinism, no business is too big to fail or too small to succeed…this is your time.
Many follow, but very few lead.
Many compete to survive, but few compete for relevance.
Do we listen to our customers? Do we truly understand them?
Do we create experiences or do we simply react?
The future of business comes down to one word…change.
This is a new era that redefines everything.
An era of empowered consumers and employees.
Will we fall to natural selection or will we rise to lead the revolution.
This is our time to make business relevant.
Because people, after all, are everything.
Here’s a story I haven’t shared much, but I’m doing so now because of an opportunity I recently had to present at the Learning Technology conference in London. Over the last two years, I’ve personally studied learning technology and also learning behaviors to relearn how to engage Generation C through analog and digital media.
In 2007, I wrote an article entitled, “Social Media is About Sociology Not Technology.” It’s a statement that after five years (and counting), I thankfully continue to see shared every day on Twitter. As time passed and experience matured, I amended that statement to now read, “Social media is about social science not technology.”
Why did I change such a powerful statement? I believe that it is not only stronger now, it is also truer.
We see everyday what’s possible with social networks for improving customer engagement and experiences? Can the same be done with internal social networks for improving employee engagement and experiences?
In the many years of helping businesses align business objectives with social and new media strategies, there is one thing that always introduces difficulty into the equation, employee engagement. At some point in the development of any strategy, employee and stakeholder input is critical to ensure relevance and ultimately success. While social media may more often than not live in the marketing department, it affects the entire organization and as such, requires a centralized approach to leadership and management combined with a distributed platform for communication and learning.
Part of an unpublished appendix for The End of Business as Usual…
Think of your favorite brand, and the first thing to come to mind is likely a logo, such as the Coca-Cola scripting, a tag-line, such as Nike’s “Just do it,” or a jingle – remember the Oscar Meyer Wiener song? These may be the aspects of a brand you remember, but they are no longer the most important aspects of branding today. Identity, persona, essence and promise, are the new kings and queens of the branding kingdom, thanks to technology and the deeper connections it opens up between brands and consumers.
When I originally outlined my presentation for SXSW, my plan was to set the stage for a passionate and engaged conversation by sharing the inspiration for my new book, The End of Business as Usual.
The more I thought about it, I realized that I could do more. To me, SXSW is a celebration of culture, art, innovation, and vision. The End of Business as Usual isn’t just about “business,” it’s about the end of everything “as usual.” So, I thought, what if the world of any business prioritized the same pillars as SXSW…art, innovation, culture, vision? What if everyday consumers, we, became the cogs in the business machine?
What follows is an expert review written by Tony Hsieh, NY Times bestselling author of Delivering Happiness and CEO of Zappos.com, Inc.
This book [The End of Business as Usual] covers an important concept for businesses everywhere. The future of business isn’t just about the latest technology, it’s about market disruption and how an organization recognizes and adapts to new opportunities. Without adaptation, businesses will fall to “digital Darwinism“, as Brian says.
I am not a social media expert and my new book, The End of Business as Usual, is not about Social Media. If you’re looking for the Top 10 ways your business can succeed on Facebook or Twitter, secrets to attracting more followers or likes, creating viral videos, or the best practices for creating infographics that over simplify the complex world of business, save your money. There is no shortage of useful books and resources out there.
A key objective for senior executives over the next several years is to use disruptive technology to get closer to customers, to improve relationships, and enhance experiences. It is a considerable move and the result will usher in a new era of adaptive and empathetic business models. However, this is a move that is easier said than done., especially when vision and execution are two sides of different coins. This is a critical path where businesses must not only commit to new technology and goals, but also invest in the methodologies, systems, processes, and people to bring about change from within before it can effectively engage outside.
Guest post by John M. Bernard, author of the new book, Business at the Speed of Now, and Chairman and Founder of Mass Ingenuity.
Imagine going to work in one of Henry Ford’s factories a century ago, proud that management referred to you a “hand” or a “hammer” or maybe even a “wrench.” The labels reflected Ford’s emphasis on automation and management’s view of laborers as mere cogs in the machine.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.