All posts by Jeff Marmins

Social Media Creates Synchronized Groups

Governments create them but are afraid of them. Businesses thrive on them.

These days a big crowd can turn up on your doorstep just as easily as having 9.7 Million people know your company broke my guitar and didn’t pay for it. Our interview by News 10 Sacramento about th flash mob that converged on Westfield Group’s Galleria at Roseville proved to be a valuable case. The mall had a fire not long ago that caused some structural damage. When thousands converged on the mall in holiday spirit to see a choral group, the mall was evacuated for fear of shopper safety. You can read the article or watch the news reel.

Here’s a quick list of the social business lessons learned from our perspective:

  1. Have a social media strategy
  2. Be certain that your strategy includes policy and procedure listening, monitoring and participating in conversations with your customers.
  3. Be certain your strategy includes a procedure for what to do when you hear something, like a lot of people are about to be at your building.
  4. More than our typical mantra of communication and collaboration benefits, like speeding the innovation process, social business technology can serve to mitigate risk.
  5. Embrace the cultural shift to rallying a gathering via the social web quickly. Public spaces are REALLY public. Thousands of people can converge on your doorstep – potentially within hours. If you’re in the conversation you can be ready with plenty of hot cocoa.
  6. The risk = not doing anything.
  7. To be quoted on the news as having “no comment” is a bad thing. Losing all your retail business during Christmas week is criminal!

Anybody concerned with social business ought to be paying close attention to what’s currently happening in the Middle East, since some of the organizing strategies in play there can be applied to any cause or business objective involving social change.

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Culture Is Key For Social Business Success

Culture. Culture is how an organization makes sense of the world, a set of assumptions internalized by all its members. Most organizations are the cultural equivalent of stone age tribes: focused on “the hunt,” “the kill,” and what’s for dinner today. Like stone age tribes, they’re fractious, unproductive, and easily broken. In the culture strategy, social tools are used to help an organization make better sense of the world. Accountability, roles, tasks, processes and incentives shape culture. In the culture strategy, social tools are utilized to reconceive them. Wal-Mart’s Sustainability Index is a radical example of a culture-changer, altering all of the above, helping Wal-Mart’s entire ecosystem make sense of the world anew.

Many organizations are struggling with the changes impacting their workforce. Whether it is shifts in age demographics, talent building and retention, or leveraging Web 2.0, there is an air of desperation for clarity. C7group offers a comprehensive approach that shows business leaders and human resources professionals how to leverage the power of social media tools to build a truly connected global workforce.

The C7group is named for our model for the social business culture of tomorrow. A mathematical model for cyclical group behavior  – C7 is the model for a business culture that is adaptive. Our serendipitous coincidence was the identification of lots of things that began with “C” that have a profound effect on the success of social business initiatives. Some of the C’s include collaboration, costs and cycles, customer service, centralized intellectual property and competitive advantage. We believe if an organization get’s all the “C”s working together in a way that embraces change, they can truly make the radical shift to 21st century sustainable success. Culture or Ideology, we think is the most important when it comes to the success of social business initiatives in large organizations.

” In my view, the successful companies of the future will be those that integrate business and employees’ personal values. The best people want to do work that contributes to society, with a company whose values they share, where their actions count and their views matter.” – Jeroen van der Veer, Chief Executive, Royal Dutch Shell (2009)

As a result of massive doses of external constraints on business, the past two decades have seen a trend in many U.S. companies from aggressive, tough-minded fast movers, with confident independent middle managers, to much more procedure-bound and uncertain or slow-acting bureaucracies. Decisions of importance must now conform to volumes of policy manuals and be ratified by increasing numbers of specialist staff people, particularly legal and accounting staff. Clearly this bureaucratic strangulation leaves much to be desired. To hamstring middle management by imposing layer upon layer of caveats and internal regulations, and by requiring that their decisions be ratified by burgeoning hierarchies of staff specialists, serves only to slow managers’ response times, destroy their initiative, and demotivate those that have any aggressiveness at all. Equally clear, for a company’s middle managers to build and maintain momentum, they need to be able to act autonomously and confidently, yet at the same time there is a need for them to act in ways that are appropriate for the overall company they represent.

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Not all internships are about making the coffee!

Facebook started it all. They have 750M+ users. They have a movie.  They attract the best talent in the World by being “social”. What a waste of time. Not.

In a nice effort to make themselves look like their $25Billion+ valuation is well deserved, Facebook published some data visualization on what 10 million Facebook friendships look like.

Paul is an intern on Facebook’s data infrastructure engineering team. I guess they have more fun internships over there and I’m sure a culture of agility and innovation that is the envy of every supertanker-fast Fortune 100 corporation.

Social Business for the Win! (or #FTW) as the millennial generation might say!

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Expert: Roseville Galleria paid no attention to social media for flash mob

ABC News 10, Dec 21, 2010: Expert: Roseville Galleria paid no attention to social media for flash mob

“If (the Galleria) had a social business strategy of some kind,” said Jeff Marmins of the C7group, “then they would have been prepared. They would have had shopping before Christmas happening instead of sending thousands of people home.”

Read the accompanying article

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‘Social business’ the next big thing?

The Columbus Dispatch, Sunday, December 19, 2010, ‘Social business’ the next big thing?

Companies look at how to improve communication

“Social business is taking off in a big way. It’s a big thing in terms of business applications,” said Chris Fletcher, a research director at Gartner Inc. The Connecticut-based research firm has tracked the information-technology industry since 1979. Although it remains a market for early adopters, “there’s a lot of energy here,” Fletcher said. “It’s an exciting time.”

More than 90 social-business firms crowd the market, according to IT-industry research firm Forrester Research Inc., led by Jive, Telligent Systems, Lithium Technologies and KickApps.

Gartner recently identified social computing as one of four broad trends that will change the face of IT and business in the next 10 years.

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Social media eyed to overhaul workplace communication

Columbia Daily Tribune, Wednesday, December 15, 2010: Social media eyed to overhaul workplace communication

Employers want their employees to be more productive. They want to be able to identify talent and put it to its best use.

Employees have ideas and want to contribute, but they’re shuttling from meeting to meeting, digging out from under e-mails, lost in the cubicle farm.

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Facebook and Twitter Inspire New Field

 

The Sacramento Bee, Saturday, Dec. 4, 2010: Facebook and Twitter Inspire New Field

Employers want their employees to be more productive. They want to be able to identify talent and put it to its best use.

Employees have ideas and want to contribute, but they’re shuttling from meeting to meeting, digging out from under e-mails, lost in the cubicle farm.

Palo Alto-based Jive Software is among the companies that see a solution: using the tools of social media, blogs, online discussion groups and wiki documents among them to change how businesses communicate and work.

And now Jive, a $30 million firm and a leader in social media software for business, has partnered with Sacramento social media marketing and consulting firm C7group.

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Social Business Isn’t A Fad

Sacramento Business Journal, November 19, 2010: Social Business Isn’t A Fad

Just as individuals have incorporated social media into their personal lives through sites such as Facebook and Twitter, more businesses are using social technologies to boost collaboration and communication among their employees and with customers.

This use of social technologies among companies and organizations is called social business, or enterprise 2.0. But social business is becoming the more accepted term.

And social business is booming.

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C7 Group, software developer combine forces

Sacramento Business Journal, Friday, November 19, 2010: C7group, software developer combine forces

A new management consulting company specializing in social media for business has partnered with a leading software developer in that category.

C7group in Sacramento is one of a handful of strategy consulting firms nationwide and the only one in the region that has formed an alliance with Jive SoftwarebizWatch to promote each other’s business. The alliance is a good first step toward what C7group’s principals hope will be more partnerships that can help the start-up company gain a foothold in social business, also known as enterprise 2.0.

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