Without question a transformation is taking place in the business world. A new evolving business culture is emerging… a collaborative environment, where building and maintaining relationships is the focus.
Last week I attended Experient’s annual e4 Conference, in Washington DC. To provide some quick background e4 is Experient’s customer conference, held annually, whose primary focus is on networking, relationship building and education regarding pertinent business issues. The event is also about experimenting with new technology and business ideas. Experient customers, Experient “Sales & Account Management” staff, Experient executives, and Leading Industry Supplier Partners attend.
This years e4 event, while maintaining its focus on Relationship building also introduced sessions addressing the influence of social media on that process. Here are my takeaways from the event:
- Build “Lifeline Relationships” centered on vulnerability, generosity, candor and accountability.
- A culture of “watching each others backs” motivates colleagues to work harmoniously resulting in higher productivity.
- Open, honest communications leads to deeper trust in relationships & greater connections.
- Embrace the “Human Element” of relationships.
- Let the passion show — Tell a story about something you are enthusiastic about — the energy created is powerful!
- Take an interest in what people have to say — ask real questions… “give a damn.”
- Produce events that become “continuous communities.”
- A safe place for people to connect on a more personal level without fear of retribution.
- Attendees truly want a voice in the creation and delivery of content at meetings.
- Joint ownership of content leads to increased commitment to its lifespan and success.
- Give people tools to share, connect and grow… with collaboration comes innovation!
Social Media (SM)
- Face to Face Events (F2F) — Social Media is a tool enhancing and extending their life.
- provides “real time feedback” from customers (internal/external) to organizations
- enables online communities which are gateways to live participation
- Use SM to build excitement before an event, and re-connect within 30 days post event with great content. Without continuity,the sense of community will be lost.
- Social Media has generated a marketing shift
- SM is the wild, wild west. There are no clear cut rules .. it is evolving continously.
- Messaging should draw interest and create buzz — engage people, listen to them
- Twitter created democratization of communications — real time dialogue with customers is here to stay.
- Understand the bigger movement behind the technology; the tech platform will always evolve.
- Create Online Communities — It is About the People!
- Let people personify and confirm the value behind your brand — they support what they help build.
- Organizations state “we have great people!” Let the greatness shine… best stuff comes from employees in the trenches!
- Top-down approach is no longer acceptable– customers want a voice and should be listened to.
- Companies need to spend more time educating employees to create powerful SM outlets and not micro manage their power.
The notion that relationships are essential to successful business is nothing new. What is different these days is the method and spirit in which they communicate. Instead of carefully crafting (behind corporate walls) an organization’s response to customers they are beginning to Dialogue with them in the open community. The solutions to their business challenges are found through collaboration and true connection!
Question: Where does your organization fit into this shift in thinking ? How are you impacting, or facilitating change within your organization?