IBM warns that businesses must prepare for a “culture shock” when implementing social business strategies. This shift, driven by the rise of social media, will see traditional hierarchies flattened and power dynamics altered. According to IBM’s vice-president of social business evangelism, Andrew Grill, firms need to be ready for this change. He suggests that companies start by identifying “digital leaders” who can help navigate the transition. These leaders should not necessarily be senior executives, but those who understand the digital landscape and can drive change.

Grill also emphasises the importance of “digital literacy” among all employees. Companies should provide training to ensure everyone understands new tools and processes. This will help to avoid resistance and ensure a smooth transition. Furthermore, Grill argues that businesses should not just adopt a social business strategy as a “tick box” exercise. Instead, they should fully embrace the change, integrating it into their overall business strategy.

However, Grill acknowledges that this transition will not be easy. There will be resistance from those who are comfortable with the status quo. To overcome this, he advises businesses to use a “pull” rather than a “push” strategy. This involves encouraging employees to see the benefits of the change, rather than forcing it upon them.

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