Saturday, 13 July 2013

#B2Bhuddle with Brian Solis

Yesterday evening I was at Microsoft, London, to listen to Brian Solis from Altimeter speaking about his new book 'What's the future of Business? Changing the way businesses create experiences'. The event, #b2bhuddle, was organised by Neville Hobson and Kerry Bridge.

I was very pleased to be there since I had been following Brian Solis's work with appreciation for quite a long time.
It was also a very good opportunity to meet some friends as well as make new connections – it is always a pleasure having the chance to discuss shared interests with different people. There is so much to learn and enjoy in those informal encounters.

As soon as the presentation started, I was ready to tweet from the much loved @simplycomm. Solis brought us through the journey of the book describing fascinating points included in his work. Below are some of my takeaways from the evening.

The book breaks down into Fourth Moments of Truth, the role of technology in decisions making and how businesses need to create experiences that mean something in each stage and also spark engagement...” (introduction by Neville Hobson).

  • At the heart of social, mobile and apps, are shared experiences. Studying user experience it is not just about designing apps or websites.

  • Digital Darwinism: when society and technology evolve faster than your ability to adapt. Many businesses are suffering from Digital Darwinism and some big companies are vanishing. Because of their failure to adapt, some big brands are dying. They are victims of Digital Darwinism.

  • In the connection economy the best companies are those who are putting the end user at the heart of their strategy. Here it is about value, relationships, engagement and help.

  • Disruptive technology is now changing behaviour. Innovation is now a required part of our culture” (@briansolis). Whatever business you're in or challenge you face, it's all open to innovation and opportunity. Innovation and creative thinking can make a staid industry special again.

  • It is not important if we call it social media or digital or whatever. What is more relevant is how people behave when using these tools and what we can learn from that. It is about the behaviours of people. Connected communities live and learn together.

  • Most companies are not developing social media strategies which are alighed with their business goals, but doing social because everyone else is (Altimeter study: only 34% are using clear metrics to associate social activities with business outcomes). Social media may be accepted as the new norm, but that doesn't mean people and businesses know what they want to get from it. Social media alone will not change things. It's one of the many things to embrace in order to prepare for the future of business. Do you focus on social media or do you focus on the larger picture of Business Transformation?

  • If social media is now the "normal" then where do we go next? How are connections made on digital channels changing how we make decisions? And, how does the board understand where intellectual capital lies within the organisation?

    No matter how smart we get with predictive algorithms it doesn't matter, because without understanding social science, without aligning with a bigger mission or vision of what we are trying to do – something that is going to matter to people – we are just managing businesses the way we always have. We are not moving in any new direction” - @briansolis

  • Generation C: the Connected Generation. It is about behaviours, not age. It trascends conventional demographics. Defining generation by age is on the way out in business. It'll be about the comfort that people have with new technology and social approaches.
    Gen C represents your opportunity.

  • Use the technology to make you relevant and start with the problem you want to solve. Successful companies use technology to enliven their vision and they start from scratch. The best business strategies are the ones that start from a blank slate. What problem do you want to solve?

  • Business problems with social media often lay at the door of employee engagement. Appreciate that you are serving a connected audience. Take care about your internal customers (employees) as well as external ones. Employees talk about your company on social media and their messages reach your customers. Employee engagement is key to success and essential for any business. From leadership to social media executives, leverage change through education.

  • The journey for business transformation is a loop, not a funnel. It has not an end and requires an ongoing process of constant examination. Map your journey and understand the influence patterns. “Without awareness there can be no consideration in the new channels (@brainsolis)”.

  • Big data is is the confluence of data science and digital anthropology” (@briansolis). We need new roles in business to help gather data and then turn it into actionable insights.

  • The hero's journey: you are the hero in the story of your business organisation if you choose to be. It's down to you to make the case for change. It takes courage, resilience, passion and the vision to do what others do not see. It's about purpose, not just outcomes.

The future of business is all about you, you need to be the driver of change. It is an emotional journey...Start your journey!