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Organizational Change Can Be Successful – Part 1

Organizational Change Can Be Successful
small__2953814622For anyone who’s been in the working world for some time knows, organizational change is never easy. For those who haven’t, you will soon find out that despite the brightest minds leading your future organizations, most of the changes you will be involved with will fail. In fact, according to a 2013 study by a leading global professional services company, Towers Watson, 75% of change efforts in your organization will fail to have lasting impact. Despite these dismal findings, armed with knowledge and a little bit of courage you and your organization can swing the odds of success in your favor.

In this eight part series, I’ll provide guidance on a proven process created by John Kotter, an internationally recognized authority on leadership and change. A Harvard Business School faculty member for over 30 years, Kotter has authored 18 different books on the topic of change. In 1996, Kotter released the book entitled Leading Change that introduced his eight step change process. This seminal work, that has become the foundation for successful change at many organizations around the globe, will be the basis for the information that is to follow in this blog series. Along the way we’ll encounter examples of how others have successfully utilized this process in their own change efforts, hopefully providing you with the courage to become an instrument of change in your own organization. With that in mind, let’s get started with step 1 – increasing urgency.

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Do you have a content strategy for your social media programs?

We all know that instantaneous interactions is an important characteristic of social media. These interactions are immediate because applications like Twitter, Facebook, and FourSquare simplify the process for you to get your message out. The ubiquity of mobile devices such as smart phones and tablets further support the speed of communications in the social world. Lastly, the sheer size of social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram enable members to reach incredibly large audiences with a few clicks.

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Future implications for your social media programs

As organizations are wrapping up their first quarter of 2014, they are undoubtedly looking at what the remainder of 2014 holds for their social media initiatives. Although most will contend that predicting the future is impossible, it is a pretty safe bet that there will be change in the remainder of 2014 that will challenge organizations and their social media efforts. Successful organizations will be monitoring and responding to these changes to ensure their social media programs continue to contribute to the bottom line. As noted by professional speaker Marcus Sheridan, “2014 will be the year of Social Media Reality. The era of fun, games and rainbows is over. Companies will finally accept that “likes” and “shares” are not KPIs (key performance indicators)”.   2014 will be the year that organizations get serious about social media and that will require the agility to respond to change, driven by advancements in technology and changes in the behavior of online users. Continue Reading »

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Viral Marketing Initiatives

Photo credit: Marc_Smith

Photo credit: Marc_Smith

Author David Meerman Scott prefers to call viral marketing, word-of-mouse, in which having other people share your story drives action.  One person sends it to another, then that person sends it to another, and on and on.  This marketing approach comes with the potential for great payoff with incredibly low costs (if any) and limited started up time.  When compared to traditional, more time consuming and costly marketing efforts such as print, television, or radio it’s easy to see why many are hoping to hit the jackpot with a successful viral marketing initiative.

One goal of a viral marketing campaign can be money.  For a young startup like the Dollar Shave Club, the goal was to announce the business and generate sales.  Utilizing a $4,500 budget they created a humorous video that was put up on YouTube and within 24 hours had amassed 12,000 orders until their servers shutdown as result of too much traffic.  For other organizations, the goals may be to build a stronger brand or establish more concrete relationships with their customers as you’ll read about below with Dove. Continue Reading »

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Is there any other way to go? Social media for your business is no longer optional.

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Photo Credit: aquopshilton

Successful businesses know that in order to be prosperous you need to build relationships with your customers, employees, suppliers and partners. Traditionally, establishing those relationships has been costly.  In an age where some organizations are spending in excess of $1 billion on advertising, social media provides businesses of all sizes the opportunity to reach consumers for relatively little money.

Just how many can be reached through social media?  In 2013 Twitter averaged 232 millon visitors per month. Facebook, a whooping 1.15 billion active users a month, all of who average more than eight hours a month using the site.  YouTube sees 1 billion users each month who spend an average of an hour watching user contributed videos.  With numbers like this, there is very little reason for businesses to be sitting on the side lines. Continue Reading »

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My thoughts on the demise of Blockbuster…

Introduction

photo credit: Thomas Hawk

photo credit: Thomas Hawk

On Wednesday, November 6, 2013 Dish Network (parent company of BlockBuster) announced the remaining 300 Blockbuster stores will be closing.   This should not be much of a surprise to consumers who have had a hot and cold relationship Blockbuster throughout it’s history and started running from the stores in the late 1990’s when Netflix arrived on the scene.  In this blog post I will examine aspects of organizational behavior (OB) and human behavior (HB) through Blockbuster’s start-up phase, its 20 year skyrocketing growth period and finally through bankruptcy and acquisition by Dish Network in 2011.  Blockbuster’s story is of interest to me in a couple ways.  Firstly, I was a customer of Blockbuster starting back in the 1990’s.  Almost every weekend involved a trip to Blockbuster to select a video tape of a recent movie.  As Blockbuster expanded their services our future trips involved rentals of video games and DVDs – sometimes even the purchase of candy and popcorn.  Secondly, many attribute the demise of Blockbuster to Netflix, the online movie delivery giant who I have been a customer of for many years.  Netflix revolutionized the movie rental market by delivering movies right into your home via the internet.  In our home we have the ability to watch Netflix on five different devices. Continue Reading »

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How American Express Leads The Way With Twitter

amexlogoJim Bush, EVP of World Service at American Express has raised the bar on customer service within American Express (Amex) and recognizes the vital role social media now plays in servicing card members.  At the core of this program, a service ethos called Relationship CareSM, is the active listening to customers in order to build relationships (Gutnam, 2011). Let’s explore why Amex leads the financial services industry in their overall social media marketing efforts and areas where they may make improvements.

Tools used by American Express to listen to Twitter

Amex uses Listening Post from Visible Technologies to actively evaluate information coming from social platforms like Twitter, delivering insight to their customer service and marketing teams.   Visible’s platform allows organizations like Amex to scan through volumes of tweets in eleven languages to pick out the most important communications that need immediate responses.  Visible is able to assign value to different tweets based upon volume, origination from high traffic domains, and the influence of the author based upon their Klout score.  Amex is also able to locate important tweets based upon keywords (e.g. awful, terrible, etc.) and create customizable workflows that queues posts to the appropriate teams to respond (Visible, n.d.). Continue Reading »