E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

From the blog

The Impact of Corporate Culture on Social Media (IBM’s Case Study) by Adam Christensen

Gran Canaria - Degollada de las YeguasWhile most people out there think that Social Software is all about new, fancy social tools, available on a more engaging and participative Web, I thought you folks would enjoy the following quote from one of my fellow IBM colleagues, Adam Christensen, who happens to know a thing or two (And plenty more! heh) around the subject of social computing:

"[…] here’s the main point: That culture is, in my view, the most overlooked, underestimated factor determining whether social media succeeds or fails in a company. And when corporate culture and social media are pitted against each other, social media will always fail. Always."

That’s a quote taken from one of his recent blog posts titled: "The Impact of Corporate Culture on Social Media (IBM’s Case Study)", where he introduces one of his latest slide decks that he has used to present at the Social Networking Conference in Miami that took place last week. So I thought I would share it over here with you folks so that you can have a look on how Social Software has changed the way IBM employees reach out and connect not only with one another, but also with customers and business partners to collaborate, share their knowledge and innovate faster than ever before.

It is a very shortly deck, but worth while your time, I am sure, specially if you are interested in the whole subject of Social Media and how it could impact large corporations out there like IBM itself, for instance.

Then to conclude such an excellent piece of work, here is another quote from him from that same "The Impact of Corporate Culture on Social Media (IBM’s Case Study)" post that sums up, pretty nicely, all what he said during the event and what I have been saying all along with that recurring "It’s all about the people" theme:

"[…] any company’s use of social media needs to start with 1) the company’s core business model (what are you in the business of doing and with whom?) and 2) corporate culture"

Just perfect! Thanks, Adam! 🙂

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Worth while sharing it along?
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4 comments

    1. Hi Jeroen! Many thanks for the feedback and for dropping by! Glad to hear IBM is not the only one feeling so strongly about this! I am really hoping that plenty more businesses will start preparing themselves and adapt to this new wave of collaboration and knowledge sharing amongst peers, because somehow it is going to change the way we interact and connect with others. And certainly fixing the culture is going to be a big one! We need to ensure others continue further with that adoption! Let’s do it! 😉

  1. Luis,

    Thanks for the nice write up!

    You know, as I went through my slides, I realized I really need to add some texture and voice over to some of those slides in the middle. Like the slide about learning from mistakes and our ValuesJam… I should probably clarify at some point that the Jam itself wasn’t the mistake. But the fact that we almost shut it down after some massive negativity at the beginning was the near mistake. In the end, we let it run its course, it ended up extremely positive and was the big “aha” moment for us that we could really trust employees and the wisdom of crowds…

    Anyhow, thanks for the nice words!

    1. Hi Adam! Thanks for the feedback and for dropping by! Yeah, I know what you mean. I guess that for those folks not exposed to IBM’s internal adotion of social software this would be a bit foreign, i.e. not having perhaps some additional speaker notes to explain it, but for those of us who went through it and experienced it, I think we already grasped the message of what you tried to deliver with the deck, and, to be honest, those near mistakes are the ones worth while exploring, because thanks to them, Jams are there to change the way we operate and work at such large corporation as IBM. So thanks a bunch for that comment! Greatly appreciated!

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