Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Life Hacks: Engaging with Millennials

Last night I lay awake watching lightning illuminate the room and counting up to the booms of thunder, wondering if this was going to be another night of heavy flooding and if I was going to be able to drive back home in the morning. As you may have heard, Texas has been experiencing some pretty heavy storms over the last couple of weeks.


Giving into the idea that this would be another sleepless night, I started to think about the floods and how people have been reacting on my Facebook news feed, which is overwhelmed with short video clips of “raging rivers” and people saying “oh my ___ “ while panning over streets that now resemble canals. There are so many tools and apps that make sharing and engaging as simple as a thumb print and a click, and many of my friends have grown up using and improving upon these, making it second nature. All of this sharing and engaging, however, has led to a lot of generalizations. That in turn got me thinking about how the media is flooded with assumptions about my generation – millennials.


Back at #IBMAmplify, I attended a panel on millennials – marketing to, managing … everything related. Expert millennials provided insight on differences between the generations, as well as the overwhelming similarities. Realizing how technology, especially social, has influenced behaviors and changed the way we engage, as well as how millennials are stampeding into the workplace, I decided to focus the next edition of the IBM Life Hacks on “Engaging with Millennials,” incorporating advice that may challenge conventional wisdom. After all, you know what they say about ASSumptions.



from Social Business Insights Blog

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Delicious Customer Experience One Slice at a Time

What does the man famously known around Finland as “The Pizza Guy” have to do with social business? A whole lot actually!

During IBM’s Amplify conference I found myself in a session listening to Tommi Tervanen, CEO of Finland’s Kotipizza chain of restaurants, as he explained his company’s approach towards creating irresistible customer experiences. It both inspired me and made me quite hungry.

Kotipizza’s commitment to sustainability, great service, and a seamless digital experience were more than impressive to learn about. What blew me out of the water, however, was the company’s dedication to being a social business.

Not only does Kotipizza have a strong presence on social platforms, but learning that the CEO Tervanen personally ran his company’s Twitter account for several years made me want to jump out of my seat and hug him! Talk about a leader who truly believes and understands the power of social business!

Tervanen and his team create a more personalized customer experience by responding to any and all tweets that mention Kotipizza. They let customers know that the company cares about what they have to say and ensure that all customer feedback is channeled to the right people at the company.

Tervanen and his team also mine social conversations for food trends. For example, Terevan mentioned that avocados were being added to the Kotipizza topping menu next month after social listening determined that avocados were becoming popular with Kotipizza’s customers.

Tommi Teravan is known as “The Pizza Guy” in Finland for a reason – he rules pizza conversations in the social universe in order to provide the best possible customer experience to fans of Kotipizza. To a Social Business marketer, that’s a slice of heaven!



from Social Business Insights Blog

Friday, May 22, 2015

IBM Digital Experience 2015: Make Your Digital Presence Stand Out

Because there are so many new ways for customers to engage with businesses, and so many businesses to engage with, it is essential to make your digital presence stand out from the crowd. Targeted content, consistent multi-channel experiences, and interactive user interfaces are no longer exceptional―they’re expected. And while it’s critical to provide an engaging digital experience in order to maintain relationships and reach new clients, delivering dynamic content across multiple channels can seem like a daunting task, especially to non-technical employees.

Don’t be discouraged! Digital Experience solutions like IBM WebSphere Portal and IBM Web Content Manager enable users―even those without technical backgrounds―to create and manage content, as well as build customized and highly-interactive user interfaces for enterprise applications on any device.

IBM Digital Experience 2015, June 1-4 in Atlanta, GA, offers a unique opportunity for you to explore the latest Digital Experience solutions, gain an understanding of the tangible business benefits, and find the best ways to optimize solutions that you may already use. With over 120 unique sessions across six tracks, and presenters ranging from IBM experts, IBM Business Partners, and successful Digital Experience clients, businesses from every industry and employees at every level will find applicable insights about the latest strategies and innovations. The sessions are supplemented by a broad range of educational forums, hands-on labs, demonstrations and technical certifications, all designed to build your skills and put you in touch with experts that will positively influence the success of your projects. Whether you’re looking for practical experience or guidance on strategy and methodology, IBM Digital Experience 2015 will give you the power to transform the way you engage with your clients and employees to drive loyalty and growth.

One of the featured products you’ll be able to explore at the conference is IBM Web Content Manager. With this web experience management software, you can create and manage content without taking control away from IT professionals. The software’s personalization support, site builder, rich text editing tools and content templates make delivering targeted and dynamic content in multiple languages fast and easy.

IBM Digital Experience solutions like IBM Web Content Manager can help you make an impact with each business interaction, which can lead to enhanced customer satisfaction, competitive differentiation and profitable growth. Register now for IBM Digital Experience 2015 and gain the knowledge, strategy, and hands-on experience you need to maximize the business value of your digital experience platform deployments.



from Social Business Insights Blog

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The Mentor Resurgence

As I reviewed my social activity from my past week spent in San Diego at the IBM Amplify conference I noticed that it wasn’t the Twitter videos of me and my colleagues rocking out to Aloe Blacc’s performance that drove the most engagement with my followers. It wasn’t even the quotes from Deepak Advani’s incredibly exciting keynote presentation or the photos I took of the delicious Chef Watson-prepared drinks. Instead, it was a tweet I sent out with a quote about mentorship from one of my favorite social influencers, Daniel Newman, that drove the most RTs, favorites and responses.

The quote was as follows: “Mentorship isn’t a generational thing, it’s an everybody thing.” Why did something so simple blow my other tweets out of the water? I would like to think that the message itself answers that question: mentorship is something EVERYONE can agree on.

Daniel made this statement during the millennial panel he participated in during the “Reinvention in the Age of the Millennial” session. Fellow millennials on the panel agreed along with all of the Gen Xers, millennials and Boomers in the audience. But this wasn’t the only time the word “mentorship” was brought up during my time at Amplify.

Alex Banayan, one of the world’s youngest venture capitalists, spoke about mentorship and its correlation to success numerous times during his talk at the Opening General Session. Mara Winans focused on the power of mentorship during the Women’s Networking Panel and Lunch. I had a lively discussion during a break between sessions with two of my colleagues about what characteristics make for an ideal mentor.

For a term that’s existed for as long as we know, it sure feels like it’s having a resurgence.

I personally have many mentors in my life – some who help guide my professional development and some whom I speak to purely about personal matters. When I think back to how I met each of my mentors, all but one of them were people I met via social.

Ted Rubin, another incredible social influencer, is a mentor of mine whom I look to for career advice. I met Ted by tweeting to him four years ago to ask if he’d be open to mentoring a millennial marketer. From that one tweet came four years of unparalleled advice and business knowledge.

Brian Williams (no not THAT Brian Williams), an IBMer I met via IBM Connections, has guided me through the ins and outs of the IBM universe. I met him in a Connections community the week I started at the company and he volunteered to mentor me since he knew IBM like the back of his hand. I’m not sure how I would’ve survived my first six months at the company without him.

No wonder so many diverse followers of mine were attracted to Daniel’s quote! Social has truly brought mentorship to the next level and the relationships formed from a simple tweet or direct message often have a lasting effect on all generations.

from Social Business Insights Blog

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

5 Ways to Get Closer to Your Remote Team

What comes to mind when you think of Teleworking? Slack? Cloud deliverables? Mobile mail? Video meetings? A New Way to Work?

What about flexibility? Cost effectiveness? Work-life balance? While productivity-related technology is growing at a rapid pace and enabling companies to get work done in creative ways, companies like IBM are also pioneering the concept of teleworking to promote health and well-being for its employees. With less time spent commuting, 40 percent of IBM employees currently work from a remote environment, with the number expected to increase dramatically in the next five years.[1]

Because the nature of teleworking is heavily virtual, there can also be a downside: For those managing teams, the absence of direct communication and interpersonal contact can be a tough barrier. It’s hard to build empathy and gauge morale in an environment that is focused mostly on results and tangible output behind screens. As a manager, you’re not running into employees in break rooms or actively seeing what people are working on in real time. You don’t know how the rest of your team is interacting when they are on their own time. It’s difficult to manage conflict or intervene when there is less transparency.

While this can lead to management mistrust, worker isolation and concerns about career impact, there are many proactive steps managers can take in the short term to ensure that a teleworking strategy considers both the bottom line of the company and social relationships of all involved.

Having worked with several managers on remote projects, I have been able to see how personal investment, understanding and appreciation can be truly transformational. Here are five things managers can start doing immediately to improve teleworking team dynamics:


  • Build a culture of appreciation and recognition. Write down your company values and make a note when you see another employee embracing those values. Note this with them. IBM uses the BlueThanx platform, a virtual sharing system for appreciation that takes values into consideration. According to Gallup, 65 percent of people receive no appreciation in the workplace.[2] One small shift in your practices could mean a large shift for your employees.

  • Encourage sharing of personal stories, goals, and accomplishments between team members. Take a minute or two to do this when starting meetings or calls. Small talk is a byproduct of a physical work environment but easily gets overlooked in the virtual world. Ensure that you care about their goals beyond their work at IBM and recognize the humanity they have beyond being a corporate employee.

  • Listen to your colleagues. Build a process to gather feedback from the team. Allow them to vent once in a while. Encourage them to explain their frustrations. See which programs they like best for virtual work. Crowd-source new ideas for organizing work. People will appreciate having input and will be more motivated to contribute more input in the future.

  • When you see something go wrong, stay positive. Start emails with phrases like “Thanks so much,” “You’ve put in a lot of effort” or “I see where you stand” instead of resorting to condemning or complaining. Taking an extra second to filter in positivity can gradually help you win over more distant colleagues in a virtual environment, especially over conflict-inducing situations.

  • Connect with others over social media channels. You can connect through various tools like Twitter and LinkedIn (the accounts they keep public) to better understand their interests, goals, background, and personality. It gives you more understanding of their point of view on certain issues and also provides you more depth into how they function. It also gives you a filter to talk about more fun things such as sports, music, food, and more.


It doesn’t have to be complex; simply using human tactics, showing personal investment and establishing appreciation can go a long way. Have any new ideas that have brought your team together over a remote working unit? Feel free to share! 


from Social Business Insights Blog

Monday, May 18, 2015

For Moosejaw, Social + Email Is a Laughing Matter

There are about 2 billion people active social network users around the world today1. The largest network, Facebook, alone has 1.44 billion monthly active users2. These are staggering numbers. Yet, they still pale in comparison to email. There are an estimated 4.35 billion business and consumer email users today, and that number is expected to reach 5.24 billion by 20183. Marketers and advertisers contemplating where to spend their digital budget shouldn’t take an either-or approach to social and email, though—they need to take an and-both approach.

Loren McDonaldThis is the lesson shared by Moosejaw Mountaineering’ Beckley Stover and IBM Silverpop’s Loren McDonald during their Amplify 2015 session in San Diego last week, and one Moosejaw lives by with their unique brand of off-beat marketing. As McDonald put it, “Social’s power is really driving that engagement, driving that conversation about your brand. … Email’s greatest power is getting people to do things, driving people to convert, to take action.” For Moosejaw, that means making email and social work together in a synergistic relationship that too many companies are neglecting. The outdoor apparel and gear retailer knows that social and email aren’t competing channels, but two parts of a framework that includes sharing, engagement and growth.

Beckley StoverDuring the session, Moosejaw’s Stover gave examples of the humor her company delivers via email and social to set itself apart from the competition. With one campaign featuring a Moosejaw truck driver posing naked (with a discreetly placed black censor bar) by his truck, the company saw its Facebook page engagement more than double for the entire week following the posts. Another campaign asked fans to count how many times the word “gumball” appeared in a crossword puzzle for a chance to win 1000 gumballs. Moosejaw promoted the contest to its email subscribers but announced the winner on its Facebook page, giving those email subscribers a “soft nudge,” as Stover said, to like the company on Faceboook. The campaign had absolutely nothing to do with outdoor gear, but it’s the type of engaging Moosejaw content that fans have come to expect and love, and one that makes expert use of multiple channels.

By learning from and planning for both social and email, Stover and McDonald said, and with some savvy cross-promoting, retailers can reap benefits greater than even the sum of utilizing the two channels separately. Here are ten tips McDonald shared to help companies realize their own multi-channel success:

10 Tips for Combining Social & Email to Drive Interaction

  1. Add an email opt-in form on your company’s Facebook page.
  2. Use social to promote email opt-ins.
  3. Use email to promote social campaigns.
  4. Promote your company’s social following via a welcome email.
  5. Promote your company’s social following via a regular email.
  6. Use popular Pinterest pins.
  7. Promote videos and blogs via newsletters, etc.
  8. Create fun and crazy emails that get talked about!
  9. Use Facebook custom audiences for ad re-targeting.
  10. Offer social options on unsubscribe/preference pages.

You can view the slides from this session on Slideshare:


1. Simon Kemp, “Digital, Social & Mobile Worldwide in 2015,” We Are Social, January 2015
2. Statista, “Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2015 (in millions),”
3. The Radicati Group, Inc., “Email Statistics Report, 2014-2018,” April 2014

from Social Business Insights Blog

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Living in the Age of Digital Transformation

Exciting times lay ahead as system of records and engagement are digitally transformed!

Organizations in all industries are undertaking digital transformation as their mandate in order to sustain and excel in the future. Digital transformation is the re-alignment or new investment in both technology and business models to improve the effectiveness of digital engagement of consumers, employees and citizens at every touch point.

Digital transformation is not just a strategy that’s nice to have—it is necessary in order to reach tech-savvy users of current and future generations, who will grow and mature over the years as they experience hands-on engagement with digital, mobile, cloud and social platforms.

The following scenarios illustrate how people of all ages are experiencing rapid digital transformation across a wide array of everyday experiences, and provide some insight into how industries are adapting in order to serve their customers better.

Public utilities

The way cities provide their residents with electricity, water and sewage services has changed over time. It once took a lot of time-consuming in-person legwork to sign up for these services, and paying for them was often a hassle too. Now many of these transactions can be accomplished with just a few mouse clicks online. Organizations that dispense and monitor these services will need to continue down this path of digital transformation to improve the user experience by engaging in process automation and by implementing integrated technology and a collaborative exchange of transactions. Improving the System of Records is a definitive first step toward implementing a comprehensive System of Engagement.

Sports and games

Children and adults can learn new sports, play online video games, and following sports teams and events through a variety of digital platforms, including interactive content across desktop, handheld and exclusive gaming devices. Those dynamics provide a challenge and a huge opportunity for organizations today to capture the mindshare of users of all ages who understand concepts like user experience, personalization and responsive design.


From blackboards to smart boards, educational institutions are seeking new ways to reach more people by improving and extending the delivery of education beyond brick-and-mortar boundaries. The emergence of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs), open schooling, online tutoring and online corporate trainings are everyday examples of this. They are essentially web-enabled social education models that operate in secure, scalable cloud-based platforms that offer advanced analytical capabilities and provide enhanced participation, engagement, assessment and certification.


The financial services industry has been rethinking whether to maintain branch banking and how best to provide personalized, value-added services. Thanks to advanced technologies that can provide 360-degree views of customers, forward-thinking payment integration and collaborative commerce, the adoption of online banking and kiosk-based services is skyrocketing. Financial institutions can now provide customers with proactive SMS alerts and personalized financial recommendations on their phones or computers faster and more efficiently than they can at brick-and-mortar locations. Banks now understand that user intimacy is a key point for continued growth and expansion, and they have begun to create strategic social platforms for marketing and customer service that provide user-friendly interfaces and are available 24/7.


The healthcare industry has been witness to some of the most massive digital transformation so far this century. Considerable innovation in the field means that comprehensive patient histories and medical records are available instantly at any time, consultative patient diagnosis can take place remotely, medical transcription is easier and quicker to accomplish, and equipment and lab data can be synchronized for improved diagnoses. These scenarios can help to make healthcare affordable and available to everyone.

In each of these industries, new solutions that deliver unique digital experiences act as compelling user interfaces on the front end and dynamic content management systems on the back end of the digital transformation wave.


from Social Business Insights Blog

Next Week: Join Me at the IBM Connections Files and Communities Webcast

A new post on SocializeMe:Next week, I'll be participating in a webcast to talk about all the new capabilities that we've added to IBM Connections Files and Communities. The webcast was put together by the team over at

David Brooks, the lead architect for the IBM Connections platform, will be joining me just like he did at IBM ConnectED earlier this year. Our goal is to give you an update of all the cool things that are now part of the product.

As a reminder, back in March, we introduced IBM Connections Files on Cloud, an easily accessible file sharing and sync offering.  We'll talk about this new offering and recent upgrades to Connections Communities that allow seamless team communication and collaboration beyond traditional boundaries.

Join this webcast to find out how these new capabilities allow users to:
  • Stay in sync across mobile devices (including both Android and iOS devices) using different personal settings
  • Leverage the new file sync and native mobile app capabilities to work anywhere and access content anytime
  • Securely collaborate with customers and business partners 
  • Improve productivity with content that is provided in context 
  • Stay connected with colleagues using profiles that provide business cards to their contacts
To register for the webcast, click here. See you next week! 

from Socialize Me

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Amplify 2015: Become a C2B Business

Deepak Advani has a personal mission: to help companies engage with customers individually and in context, with relevance. At IBM Amplify 2015 in sunny San Diego, Advani, General Manager, IBM Commerce, used the General Session on Tuesday to lay out the imperative for companies to become Customer-to-Business, C2B, operations. To do that, companies need tools and solutions that work together to provide exceptional customer experiences.

In the world as Advani imagines it, businesses will be able to target customers with videos, demos and more that will speak to them at such a compelling and personal level that they, the customer, will reach out to the company and ask to do business with them, rather than the other way around. The company will also be able to predict with much greater decision what the customer will want not just in the immediate future but even a year down the road.

In the current world, however, there is an experience gap: 81 percent of marketers say they have a holistic view of the customers, yet 78 percent of customers believe the average brand doesn’t understand them as an individual1. Bridging that gap and getting to Advani’s world of superior customer experience is not some far-off goal. It is within companies’ reach thanks to solutions that are fueled by analytics and that have mobile at the core. IBM is working with business partners today to do deep design work in order to make C2B transformations a reality.

Solutions such as Journey Analytics and Journey Designer help organizations step into consumers’ shoes and gain insights that can be applied to revamping and improving customer journeys. What used to take marketers weeks to do in analyzing a journey, redesigning the experience and redeploying, now takes just minutes. Similarly, the new Commerce Insights solution gives web merchandisers the data-backed analysis they need make product decisions based on performance. The future addition of Watson Analytics to Commerce Insights will help sellers determine, for example, what products to cross-sell to maximize sales.

Perhaps most exciting of all is the new partnership between IBM and Facebook, which promises consumer insights that marketers and merchandisers. Advani was joined onstage by Blake Chandlee, Facebook Vice President of Global Partnerships, to discuss how the partnership will allow companies to better understand and make meaningful connections with the 1.44 billion monthly users2 of the world’s largest social network. “When I first came to the Internet … we spent a lot of time talking about ‘clicks,’” said Chandlee. “What we’re moving toward is … how can we drive real business outcomes?”

The four-minute-mile used to be the ultimate achievement for runners. Now, even high-schoolers are regularly breaking that mark, and so runners must set their sights on loftier goals. Similarly, while driving business outcomes through personalized outreach has always been a goal for marketers, what that means today is very different from what it meant just a few years ago. C2B is redefining what it means to connect with consumers, and setting new bars for what outcomes businesses can achieve.


1. “The Consumer Conversation,” produced by Econsultancy in partnership with IBM, April 2015.

2. Statista, “Number of monthly active Facebook users worldwide as of 1st quarter 2015 (in millions).”

from Social Business Insights Blog

Monday, May 11, 2015

#20Questions with Rachel Charlesworth

Meet Rachel, VP, Brand at RideScout, a mobile app that shows you real-time information about all transportation options that are available right now. Rachel also happens to be a traveler, foodie and lover of trends!

Rachel recently served as a judge for IBM's New Way To Startup competition, where 10 startups focused on social good missions are given the chance to raise their profiles and compete to win software, services, mentorship and a trip to TED@IBM


from Social Business Insights Blog

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Social Insights: In Conversation with Brian Fanzo

In our hyper-connected environment, leaving Social Business out of the strategic equation is not really an option – it’s a necessary part of the mix to change the way companies work and to reach customers where they are.

imageSome companies – even large enterprises – are inherently social. Think born-on-the-cloud companies who started out in the digital age. But for the majority of companies, it’s still a struggle to put social to good use beyond marketing.

To get to the bottom of it, we talked to Brian Fanzo, Chief Digital Strategist at Broadsuite and one of the Economist’s Top 25 Social Business Leaders. In the latest Talking Insights Podcast from the IBM Center for Applied Insights, he shares real-world examples of how social is being implemented and benefits of adoption, from sales to the supply chain.

Customer engagement nirvana: Share what you know, especially with customers. Beyond marketing or selling, use social channels to build relationships. Analyze and understand social data to personalize interactions based on customer behavior.

Employees as social rock stars: Recruit strong social advocates to share best practices internally and increase social sharing. And continually train new employees who don’t have to “unlearn” things, to turn them into brand ambassadors.

Company-wide cultural change: Tap the C-suite to practice the value of social and implement strategies that take effect top down. The impact of social can be built in across the enterprise to emphasize collaboration across the ecosystem.

Brian also discusses how social adoption is mirroring the findings in a recent IBM thought leadership study, Charting the Social Universe. From the more common starting point of collaboration and HR tools, to more sophisticated social analytics and business processes, it's really more a question of which entry point makes the most sense for a particular organization, than if it will embark on a social initiative at all.

Share your thoughts about the podcast and social adoption with us on Twitter using #IBMSocialStudy.

And stay tuned for upcoming podcasts in the series including, up next, a conversation with IBM’s Andrew Grill.

from Social Business Insights Blog

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Communication Gaffes – Destructive but Controllable

Companies know there is no shortage of ways to lose customers. Still, when a study shows that nearly half of respondents switched one of their main services (banking, mobile, internet, satellite/cable) in 2014*, orgs of all types would do well to take notice. The causes behind customers jumping ship identified in the new IBM/Econsultancy report, “The Consumer Conversation,” are not hard to guess at: competition with better offerings, pricing, and of course, customer experience. Of the 30 percent of respondents who said they switched due to the company failing them in some way, 51 percent of them said it was a failure in experience. These customer experience gaffes—customer service, in-store service, site/app quality, loyalty programs—are controllable, but perhaps none more so than failures in communication.

Companies might not understand consumers as well as they think they do. While 81 percent of consumer brands claim to have a holistic view of their customers, only 37 percent of those customers say their favorite retailer understands them; when it comes to the average retailer, that figure drops to 22 percent. When it comes to communications, however, companies are well aware of their shortcomings. Less than half—just 47 percent—of brands believe they are delivering relevant communications. Only 34 percent claim to know when customers want to hear from them. Knowing which channels to communicate with consumers on and how often are problem areas as well.

Fortunately for companies and consumers alike, it’s getting easier to leverage data and analytics to gain the holistic view of customers needed for effective and timely communications. “Effective,” however, does not just mean “relevant.” Communications must be both relevant and valuable to be effective. It’s easy to imagine a company drowning a customer in communications—all of those communications might be relevant, but they can’t all be valuable. Valuable also means communicating with the consumer on their preferred channel. Again, this is where insights gleaned from data can help, but companies can do much better in this regard simply by asking the consumer which channel they prefer.

Great communication is more art than science. However, in the world of business, it must be based on science in the form of data and analytics. Creative content can be incredibly persuasive and inspiring, but it will fall upon deaf ears and blind eyes if it’s not delivered in to the right person in the right way at the right time.


*All figures are from “The Consumer Conversation,” produced by Econsultancy in partnership with IBM, April 2015.


from Social Business Insights Blog

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

The Decoded Company: Technology Eats Bureaucracy

Authors: Leerom Segal, Aaron Goldstein, Jay Goldman, and Rahaf Harfoush


Let’s start with a deceptively simple question: What if you understood your people better than you understand your customers? Most businesses invest heavily in understanding the mindset and behavior of their customers. What motivates them, engages them, drives them to purchase, increases their basket size, and increases lifetime value? What keeps them loyal and prevents churn? Whether you track it in your head, in a network drive full of spreadsheets, or in a complex and highly customized enterprise CRM application, you no doubt spend a considerable amount of time, effort, and money on understanding what makes your business successful.


Your interest in this blog post also suggests that you would agree with the old adage about your company’s most important assets going down the elevator at night. Although we would object strenuously to the word ‘asset’ to describe our people — language matters! — the sentiment is very much correct. So if your people are the lifeblood of your organization, and the leverage that any one of them can exert is so significant, why not invest as much (or more) in understanding them?

Becoming a Decoded Company

What if we learned to decode the real story that is embedded in the data trail that follows our people and every project they work on? What if we put its messages to use — not to get the better of our talent but to get the best from them — to help them get into the zone; to make their jobs better, and to improve the performance of the whole organization? The answers, it turns out, are radically transformative.


The new key to a sustainable competitive advantage is to become a Decoded Company: talent-centric, data-driven, flexible, and fast. Any leader in any size of organization should be personalizing each team member’s experience, increasing their emotional engagement, speeding up their mastery of new skills, increasing their time spent “in the zone”, and maximizing their entire team's potential.

The Decoded Principles

There are three bureaucracy-devouring principles behind every Decoded Company:


  1. Technology as a Coach: Transform your existing technology into a coach that brings out the best in your people rather than a referee that just yells "offside!". The same technologies that power Amazon, Netflix, Google, and eHarmony can be used to engage, motivate, and train your people.

  2. Data as a Sixth Sense: Companies as diverse as UPS, 37signals, Bank of America, and Whole Foods have given their people decision making superpowers by pairing instincts with analytics to gain a perspective that’s grounded in data but tempered by experience. Equip your people with the right data at the right time to make better decisions faster.

  3. Engineered Ecosystems: Our top-down, hierarchical workplaces and cultures are rapidly becoming a thing of the past. Rapidly changing workforce dynamics, social technologies, and the availability of data are enabling ecosystems to triumph over hierarchies, empowering new approaches to leadership and growth.


We’ve developed these principles through the study of some of the world’s leading companies, and also through our own experience becoming hypergrowth experts over the last 18 years of leading Klick. Our company has averaged 40 percent year-over-year growth since inception, both in revenue and headcount, which has given us significant insight into what attracts talent, drives engagement and performance, and ultimately builds highly scalable businesses.

Start Decoding Now!

You don’t need fancy software or expensive management consultants to start applying the Decoded Principles within your own business. Here are the top four:


  1. Explore, particularly the sections on Technology as a Coach, Data as a Sixth Sense, and Engineered Ecosystems.

  2. Join us and Chris Heuer (@ChrisHeuer) on Twitter for a #SocBizChat on May 14th at 1:00 pm ET.

  3. Connect with us on Twitter: @LeeromSegal, @JayGoldman, @RahafHarfhoush. We’d love to hear about your decoding experiences!

  4. Comment below! We’ll answer any questions you have about how to get started, how to apply data-driven management, and how to build centers of gravity for top talent.


from Social Business Insights Blog

IBM Connections Adds Secure File Sync and Share Offering On-premises

A new post on SocializeMe:Following the release last quarter of our secure file sync and share offering in cloud, today we have just released the equivalent offering for those customers who would like to deploy this on premises. This new offering gives customers a new way to buy IBM Connections and get just the Files portion of the platform. This makes it easy to get started and customers can grow and buy the entire IBM Connections suite once they are ready to use other capabilities such as Communities, Forums, Ideation, etc.

The capabilities have already been highly praised by analysts such as Forrester and OVUM. In fact, check out this report from OVUM to find out why IBM Connections is a strong candidate to provide all the benefits and features an enterprise user might need from a file sync and share solution.

This offering includes:
  • Mobile apps for iOS and Android
  • Desktop plugins for Microsoft Windows and Mac (including integration into Microsoft Office 365 Desktop apps such as Word, PowerPoint, Outlook and Excel)
  • External file sharing (ie. share files with people outside of your organization)
  • Share files with individuals or groups
  • Lock files for editing to prevent conflicts
  • View files online without having to download
  • Control who can view/edit your files and who can re-share them 
  • View who has downloaded your files and which version they have
  • See how the file has been shared throughout your organization
  • and more... ! 
Available add-ons:
  • Compliance and Governance support 
  • Real-time co-editing of files without downloading 
Here's a demo of the plugins and mobile apps in action:


from Socialize Me

Monday, May 4, 2015

#MediaChat Recap: Social Collaboration with Michelle Killebrew

On the latest #MediaChat our guest was Michelle Killebrew from IBM on the topic of "Social Collaboration.”

Michelle Killebrew is passionate about marketing, especially innovative digital marketing strategies that deliver a superior brand experience – from initial acquisition through to loyal customer – and increase growth and profitability. She currently leads digital direct marketing and transformation for the IBM Cloud division where her team is responsible for the marketing strategy and lead generation engine for the division, including a digital lab designed to optimize digital platforms and user experience.

Recently, Michelle led the go-to-market strategy for the IBM Social Business category, where her team focused on the strategy, messaging, positioning, thought leadership and content for the over 400 solutions that define social business and demonstrate how organizations can embrace this next information revolution in the workforce; a #NewWaytoWork. 

We started our Q&A by asking Michelle to explain the best ways of shifting an organization into social collaboration environments.

Michelle shared that top down and bottom up you must have executive support and employee advocates. If only top-down, a system is built that isn’t used and the project fails. If only bottom-up, then you end up with siloed systems all over your organization with teams using different tools.

We asked Michelle if email still has a role to play in the future of social collaboration?

Absolutely, email still plays a role in social collaboration, but we need to use it properly, as correspondence, Michelle explained. Social collaboration is ideal when you need to collaborate with multiple people or teams. IBM Verse brings email and collaboration together beautifully to help streamline the experience between each. IBM Verse reimagines email and collaboration because it brings them together with analytics to help you work more effectively.


In our final question to Michelle we asked her, what does the future of social collaboration look like in the next 3-5 years?

Michelle shared that she believes real-time communication will become even more seamless, and we’ll see even more video. She also believes it will become ubiquitous in our “normal” lives both inside and outside of work! And of course that IBM Verse is taking us towards that future; integrating collaboration + mail + analytics + design.

For more great conversations, we invite you to join #MediaChat every Thursday evening starting at 10pm ET / 7pm PT live on Twitter.



Are you ready to embrace the future of work? Tools like IBM Verse can help. Guided by powerful analytics to help you prioritize the people and projects you need to focus on, this new email and collaboration tool will help free your employees up to focus on what they do best. Learn more at and check out the new commercial at

Also follow #NewWayToWork on Twitter to hear more from social business influencers as we tackle the future of work together.


from Social Business Insights Blog