If you thought it was nonsense the way you hear some people talk about being socially networked – internally and externally – you’re wrong.
Companies that institutionally and strategically leverage social networks for their business gain more insight and can move faster than their competition. Smart companies are not just leveraging outside social networks but are also building social networks within their companies to ensure their own employees are better connected with each other.
McKinsey wrote a substantive article on how companies that are very networked can benefit from a completely connected enterprise.
- Integrate the use of Web 2.0 into employees’ day-to-day work activities. This practice is the key success factor in all of our analyses, as well as other research we have done. What’s in the work flow is what gets used by employees and what leads to benefits.
- Continue to drive adoption and usage. Benefits appear to be limited without a base level of adoption and usage. Respondents who reported the lowest levels of both also reported the lowest levels of benefits.
- Break down the barriers to organizational change. Fully networked organizations appear to have more fluid information flows, deploy talent more flexibly to deal with problems, and allow employees lower in the corporate hierarchy to make decisions. Organizational collaboration is correlated with self-reported market share gains; distributed decision making and work, with increased self-reported profitability.
- Apply Web 2.0 technologies to interactions with customers, business partners, and employees. External interactions are correlated with self-reported market share gains. So are internal organizational collaboration and flexibility, and the benefits appear to be multiplicative. Fully networked organizations can achieve the highest levels of self-reported benefits in all types of interactions.