Corporate Borders – How to Break them Down? – Social Business


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We live in a interesting time where the Internet and technology have allowed us to tear down borders despite distance, time and language challenges. Despite the business cultural shift of how businesses use the Internet, there are still challenges.

Businesses have traditionally managed their workforce by focusing on operational efficiencies, but they have not concentrated on creativity and flexibility to capitalize on the growth opportunities. Developing these capabilities will require businesses to focus on growing creative leaders, adapting to the environment, and capitalizing on shared intelligence.

1. Grow creative leaders – Companies needs to identify creative leaders who challenge the status quo and provide direction, motivate and drive results. They need creative leaders who can tear down borders through innovative strategies that develop a shared vision to motivate collaboration.

2. Adapting to the environment for speed and flexibility – Companies should simplify their processes; be fast and adaptive in order to compete in this global marketplace.

  • How do you remove the organizational silos?
  • Which processes and function provide greater opportunity to be efficient and flexible?
  • How can you identify opportunities and gaps?
  • How can you reduce on-boarding in your most critical jobs?

3. Connecting people and capitalizing on shared intelligence – Collecting knowledge and experience within the workforce is crucial to building an agile environment, even though most organizations have created information silos. Companies must find new ways to integrate innovations into their organization that connect their people and information to each other, Internally and externally.

Innovation is the lifeblood of any organization and at the heart of any innovation must be collaboration. But innovation is more than one person’s vision; it is a combination of the company’s knowledge, capabilities, and experiences. And building and maintaining the innovative edge requires capitalizing on shared intelligence.

Benefits of shared intelligence:

  • Discovers improvement
  • Efficiency by sharing best practices across the company
  • Allows organizations to adapt and identify pitfalls and opportunities
  • Enables organizations to avoid duplicating processes and building on experience

A recent study uncovered that most executives are finding it hard to connect their workforce. The study showed that 78% of leaders interviewed did not think companies are effective for growing collaboration and social business, and 21% have increased their investment into social tools., Less than 20% are actively using analytics to measure the impact.

“HR should play a greater role in encouraging innovation through finding and looking after the tools for collaboration and also by providing the incentive mechanisms to support collaboration,” said a senior vice president from Australia.

There are some companies that are trying to become more collaborative and work on their communication tools but they are failing to utilize it for strategic initiative and identifying the visibility of ideas or obstacles.

The company’s role and senior leadership needs be redeveloping the company’s culture and infrastructure so they can build a common context and encourage the creation of new ideas, relationships, and connections.

How do organizations develop a new approach that crosses the boundaries of the traditional functional silos?

  • Companies need to review their policies and processes on an ongoing basis and incorporate workforce planning into strategy development.
  • Identify issues that employees have passion for and have a critical impact on the business.
  • Building social media features and tools that allow your workforce to share insights and information. Create communities around strategic business topics which can be leveraged throughout the company.
  • Reinventing the use of email. Email has been one of the major issues for silos and communication gaps within the organization.
  • Position virtual worlds, gaming and business simulation as techniques to compliment face-to-face learning.
  • Build collaborative tools and infrastructure directly into business processes. Use tools such as instant messaging, blogs and wikis to facilitate real-time communication.
  • Develop programs that recognize collaboration and the value it creates.
  • Identify those individuals at the heart of conversations to see where new trends are coming from.
  • Use dashboards and visualization tools to identify patterns, gaps and connections
Jason Swenk
Hi, I'm Jason Swenk. I started my career jumping into the Internet boom in 1999. I had a great passion for technology and marketing, so I started a digital agency. In 2011, I was lucky enough to have my agency acquired and then just 7 months later got acquired again by a public company. What a ride! "My goal of developing this content, is to provide valuable advice that provides immediate actionable steps you can do right now that will make a difference in your business. "


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