Well, several countries and 18,000 miles later and I’m back. I got to visit quite a few clients and listen to their challenges. Real business leaders struggling with real issues is what keeps me grounded. It is also what can make me a cautious analyst when it comes to predicting the value of new processes and technologies. Change is incredibly hard for most of us. I, for one, do not like change. I still have a Members Only jacket. I’m not allowed to wear it, but I can’t throw it out, either. Why is it hard to change as a business? A lot of it has to do with the multiple entities that control the levers of change.
Let me share the job titles around the room in a recent meeting with a client regarding embarking on a social CRM program:
CFO of IT
Senior manager, enterprise projects
Chief Technology Officer
VP Customer Care
Head of Enterprise Management
VP, Workforce Management (HR)
Head of Customer Strategies
VP of Solutions Engineering
VP, Technical Services
Senior Technologist, Enterprise Architecture
Chief of Customer Experience
There are cadres of people working for, with, or under each of these folks. They are all bright and eager and many are somewhat jaded by the term, “Social.” Some of them want to do a “Social Project” while others think it was social enough of them to just show up for the meeting and now their quota is filled. Check.
I asked the obvious question: How did you come to be at this meeting as a group? That elicited a lot of laughter, some of it genuine and some of it nervous.
“What are you tasked to achieve?” More smiles/smirks/anxious laughter.
Well, the CEO attended a forum and his/her cohort was crowing about their latest “Social” initiative, and now said CEO is feeling like an underachiever. They want one of their own.
I suggested that they not resist, but also not feel trapped in a box. Social might mean internal collaboration. It might be monitoring and responding to posts, Tweets, and forums. It might mean allowing more ratings of products and services.
This Fall we will be publishing an entire Social CRM Health Check Series to help you assess your “Social” readiness. We have 15 analysts working on this already. I’ll keep you apprised. In the meantime, I’d love to hear about your initiatives, so keep the emails and calls coming.