That thing about culture & strategy in ‘social’


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Theres been an interesting discussion happening in many disjointed places today around culture & strategy in terms of Social CRM or Social Business or whatever is your favorite poison. It all started for me in the #SCRMSummit twitter hashtag discussions associated with the BPT Partners’ SCRM certification summit that happened on 21st & 22nd March in Madrid, Spain.

Somebody said culture eats strategy for lunch and that to successfully implement social CRM the organization’s culture needs to change. And then I got this interesting definition for culture: “What happens in an organisation when no one is looking” from Debabrat Mishra on twitter.

A few minutes back I got another nice definition from this HBS blog post titled “Culture trumps strategy, every time” shared by my good friend Brian Vellmure: “Culture’s all that invisible stuff that glues organizations together”.

And then I got to know of a different definition that presumably paraphrased Gil Yehuda: “Observable behaviors”. This is in stark contrast to what the other two perceive about culture in an organization. There was even a healthy discussion yesterday on the #scrmsummit hashtag around the clichéd Zappos culture, how it was costing Amazon in goodwill dollars and that it needs to be scalable too.

For me culture has been about behaviors in the organization that manifests due to beliefs. Having worked in the same organization as it grew from ~3,500 to ~100,000 or ~30x in 10 years I have seen how culture varies in the organization with the number of years a person has spent in the organization as well as whether the person joined the organization fresh out of the campus or from other organizations.

As I grapple with the dichotomy of the customers’ & businesses’ priorities on social media as Mitch Liberman, VP Marketing at Sword Ciboodle, shares this interesting graph from IBM in his latest post highlighting the “Perception gap in Social“, what are your thoughts on this ‘culture’ puzzle? How do you tackle it in your organization?

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Prem Kumar Aparanji
SCRM Evangelist @ Cognizant. Additional knowledge in BPM, QA, Innovations, Solutions, Offshoring from previous roles as developer, tester, consultant, manager. Interested in FLOSS, Social Media, Social Networks & Rice Writing. Love SF&F books. Blessed with a loving wife & a curious kid. :)


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