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Social Business Plays Katniss Everdeen in the Enterprise Hunger Games

by Jenny Sussin  |  October 10, 2013  |  Comments Off on Social Business Plays Katniss Everdeen in the Enterprise Hunger Games

There’s nothing I love more than a good pop culture reference and it’s time we take our tweets and turn them into bows and arrows. (If you’re unfamiliar with The Hunger Games, you’re going to have a really hard time with this blog post.)

I have spent the last four days at Gartner’s US Symposium and in that time, I’ve taken 40+ 1:1 meetings where I’ve spoken with clients about social media and its application to their business. Coupled with around 300 clients inquiries I’ve taken on the topic thus far this year, that makes almost about 400 social media problems that just I, myself, have worked with businesses to troubleshoot. Keep in mind, I’m not the only person at Gartner who covers social business so if we extrapolate a bit I’d venture to guess that Gartner has taken between 2,000 and 3,000 inquiries on social business topics this year.

Yet market pundits try to say it’s become less important, having the staying power of District 11 in the Games. CIOs look for reasons why social media is irrelevant to their company in an attempt to prioritize Districts 1 and 2. So why does the underfunded, undernourished District 12, Katniss Everdeen, continue to be a force of such impact that the Capitol is forced to pay attention?

You have to consider what the Capitol wants. They’re comfortable with what they know, what they can control, traditional strategy, traditional approaches, and traditional technologies. Katniss/Social represents all that the Capitol has neglected: essentially customer and employee feedback…for years.

And once we empower Katniss, give her the bows and arrows she needs to thrive, allow her to tweet or blog or post to the Web and be seen by all of Panem, she becomes dangerous. She becomes something we can no longer control because we’ve never spent the time to nurture her strengths and teach her where to aim the arrows.

This is where the enterprise still has a chance. The enterprise needs to stop ignoring social, stop trying to repress it, and instead embrace it and give it a target. If the Capitol can channel Katniss and get her fighting for their cause, a real business impact, then it gets its power back. But as those who’ve read the books know the fate of the Capitol, they can only hope enterprises see a better fate.

*The grammatical errors in this blog post are gratuitous.

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Jenny Sussin
Managing VP
7 years with Gartner
8 years IT industry

Jenny Sussin is a Managing Vice President for CX and Sales Research. Read Full Bio

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