You cannot avoid it, Social Business is inevitable. Here’s why.

Let’s not confuse things, business has changed and is still changing.  There are a variety of factors that make the move toward a more open and connected business inevitable.  The question is not whether this will happen, it’s are you prepared and how will you adapt?

Here are 3 reasons you can’t avoid it.

Incoming workforce behaves differently.

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As each year goes by, more high school students go to college, and more college students enter the workforce. These are the millennials, the digital natives, “those young people” that the older generation believes to be spoiled, entitled, disconnected and anti-social.

Regardless of how those over 50 view this younger generation, they are entering the workforce…there is no debate over this. These digital natives barely remember a time before smartphones.  They send many thousands of text messages per month.   They are mobile, tech savvy and use technology in an entirely different way than the older generation.

What do you think these new employees want and value?  I’ll bet it’s a little different from what the current C-suite wants and values.

How can a business run on two parallel tracks; one where things are done “the old fashioned way” and another in which the workforce is wired from childhood to use technology and networks?

Businesses are creating public data.

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Every business is in the relationship business, and “every company is a media company.”  Since social media technologies let anyone publish content, many of your competitors are broadcasting and engaging.

This environment creates a unique opportunity to learn from your opponent’s mistakes and success.  Sometimes it will even allow you to predict your competitors next move.  Sure, businesses could all stop talking, and some may not be on social media at all, but let’s be real all trends point toward social media become more, not less, ubiquitous.

Are you listening?

 

Everyone is always “in uniform.”

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Do you really think that you can control the conversation about your brand?

Do you really think that you can prevent your employees from accessing Facebook or Twitter during the day?

The truth is that if your employees are online–and internet adoption data would suggest they are–then your employees are always representing you online.  Even when people are “off-the-clock,” their behavior is a reflection of your brand.  You may not like that, but it’s true.  Even if they don’t list you as an employer, they are still a touch point for your company.  This is both an asset and a liability, depending upon how you approach he issue.

Will you embrace it and use it to your advantage…or will you fight against it, and delay the inevitable?

Don’t fight, don’t delay.

This isn’t supposed to be scary.  If you embrace these opportunities there are a multitude of benefits.  At the very least, this inevitable shift in the workforce and business landscape require that any business that wants to be around in 5 years should at least look into how social technologies, and processes will disrupt their existing customers, partners and competitors.

  • http://twitter.com/EVlems Edwin Vlems

    You are so right Jeff…