Considering the influence and impact of Social Business

Announcing the Social Business Summit, Sydney, March 25, 2010

“Considering the influence and impact of Social Business for your organisation.”

We’re delighted to announce the final event in a series of global Social Business Summits hosted by the Headshift/Dachis Group will be held in Sydney on Thursday, 25th March, 2010.

Our event, that completes the series commencing in Austin on the 11th March, followed by London on the 18th March – will bring together a diverse range of thought leaders and business innovators to both share experiences and contribute to facilitated discussions on the future of social business design.

We intend to consider and address the impact of social tools on the way we organise, structure and manage knowledge and people in businesses, both internally and externally. The Sydney event has selected three key themes: engagement, influence, and impact.

Engagement: The organisational culture and how implementing change strategies impact your business. As we return to work and review the year ahead, there’s an opportunity to reflect upon the new potential afforded by the global turbulence many organisations experienced in 2009. In the Australasian region, there are early indicators of growth and return of business and consumer confidence. While in contrast, business commentators are signalling a workforce that is “changed forever” by the GFC. A report from Chandler Macleod Group describes tired and disillusioned staff who have endured tough times and a warning that it’s a critical time to re-engage, to provide flexibility, to revise and revisit values and rewards. In Social Business terms we see that as connecting and communicating with your workforce and enabling new processes to emerge through innovative and novel ways. However, traditional change implementation approaches frequently experience resistance to change. How do we address workplace fatigue and spark innovation for new approaches? What will be the impact on organisational culture?

Influence: The roles and responsibilities in a Social Business. While considering the need for change, the question arises in many organisations about the need for leadership – who will take the responsibility for this change role? Where does the role for the integration of social tools connect with organisational structures? Consulting firm, SHL, calls for a return to charismatic, transformational leader who will motivate and engage – yet back in 1994, Doug Stace & Dexter Dunphy (in Beyond the Boundaries: Leading and re-creating the successful enterprise) referred to the leadership of change and highlighted that change will frequently come from initiatives within the organisation which can create strategic conflict with leadership – but will the cultural renewals from the 90’s provide us with any insights for the types of transformational shifts in the nature of work currently being explored?

Impact: the ROI – creating transferable actions that lead to workplace productivity and greater efficiencies. As Lee points out in his post citing Clay Shirky – the cost of collaboration is close to zero! Yet despite the abundance of case studies and reports available, many organisations don’t know how to foster collaborative environments. Instead preferring to continue with a transactional model and division of labour that will to negatively impact any endeavours to realise the potential of social business tools. Continual references to the “bottom line” and ROI of social business strategies restricts our abilities to consider the impact in terms of engagement, satisfaction, efficiencies and expectations. Such value is delivered through infrastructure effectiveness and strategic differentiation. Today’s technologies are influential and successful because they are both powerful and flexible – isn’t it time our work practices mirrored the same qualities?

We will be joined by a number of local and international speakers – they will be announced shortly along with the program. Further blog posts, including posts from guest bloggers on the themes will provide further opportunities to expand and shape the Summit conversations.

Join us in Sydney to reconsider the nature and interactions of work – engage in open, facilitated discussions with thought leaders and practitioners who will draw on their local and international experiences. This event is by invitation only and admittance is limited. If you would like to request an invitation, please email australia@headshift.com