The 5 Question Inventory for Social Business Readiness


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Our series on Social Business Readiness is intended to focus attention on performing the due diligence needed to understand if key departments are ready to innovate and implement social business solutions within their functional areas. Managers of those functional departments ignore this step at their peril. Few initiatives can boomerang and create chaos as quickly as an ill-considered and haphazardly implemented social media effort.

The “readiness inventory” approach will most likely raise more questions than a simple due diligence study can answer. That’s the point! In order to help organizations assess their strengths and weaknesses and address their delta, we have created a social business readiness assessment service. This process allows an organization to take the temperature of their social readiness as measured against their social business goals. The crucial importance of asking the right questions about social media — performing a needs assessment in the context of the business objectives — is so often overlooked we begin nearly every engagement with a new client using this process.

Successful social business depends on developing a clear, well-articulated and flexible social strategy. Organizations commonly suffer from a suite of gaps that get in the way of their success, despite the best intentions. This integrated approach is a critical factor for determining your company’s social strategy starting point. It ensures that some essential elements are available, or will have to be in place, such as the business goals and vision, social media policies, appropriate tools, measures and metrics, and a culture that supports the outcomes – both anticipated and un-anticipated, that grow out of a well-executed social business plan.

Following the social media inventory, a taking stock of your social media capabilities, the next critical step is determining a set of short-term and mid-term goals for integrating social media into your business operations — the value chain. Don’t imagine this a “set-it and forget it” process. We remind our clients that there are no long-term goals when it comes to social business. A two-year time horizon is about as far ahead as most organizations can see. This new environment for connecting individuals and organizations is too unpredictable to support longer-term plans. Carpe diem!

This is the last installment of our series of posts on Social Business Readiness. The complete series is listed below:
The Utility Of Social Business: 5 Strategic Wins
5 Questions for Human Resources
5 Questions for Sales Executives
5 Questions for Legal Counsel
5 Questions for IT Executives
5 Questions for Marketing
5 Questions for Customer Care Executives

We hope this series has proven helpful to you and your organization as you forge forward into this brave, new social world. Your comments, suggestions and examples will be most welcome and, please do contact us if you are interested in learning more about our Social Business Readiness Assessment Tool and Methodology.


Republished with author's permission from original post.

Vanessa DiMauro
Vanessa DiMauro is CEO of Leader Networks, a research and strategy consulting company that helps organizations succeed in social business and B2B online community building. DiMauro is a popular speaker, researcher and author. She has founded numerous online communities, and has developed award winning social business strategies for some of the most influential organizations in the world. Her work is frequently covered by leading publications such as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes.


  1. Great article. I especially like your comment that there are no long-term goals regarding social media in business. That’s a new attitude that’s often difficult to understand. If there’s a time to be nimble, it’s with the implementation and analysis of social media.


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