It’s social – but not as we know it
Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Housing
It's social - but not as we know it
Boris Worrall, Orbit Group's Director of Strategy & External Affairs, on why social media has only a small part to play in creating a truly social business.
Housing has an obsession with social. And I’m not talking about purpose here. A growing army of housing bloggers, tweeters,Yammer converts (hello @BromfordGroup), anti-email evangelists (step forward @Nickatkin_htt) and Facebook fans are transforming how we engage with customers, communities and each other.
It’s exciting, fun and hugely worthwhile. But I can’t help the nagging feeling that we’re somehow all missing the true prize. Because for me, success isn’t 1,000 Twitter followers (although that would be nice) or even an email-free office (that too might be good) – but a truly integrated digital revolution that completely transformed our organisations to provide better, cheaper, quicker, more democratic, responsive, flexible, intuitive customer-created services. And a culture where hierarchy was dead, collaboration was king and our customers sat within our eco-system – not outside it.
And in a world where IT is the new ‘rock and roll’ (queues for Ipads? Crazy if you ask me but the reality) and the ‘internet of everything’ due any day soon, the tomorrow’s world is closer than we think. A handful of housing organisations – free of the shackles of the regulator and blessed with a potent blend of early adopter CEOs and bright young things – are pushing this agenda at a corporate level. But no one has cracked what I think is the holy grail of housing today – becoming a truly integrated, truly social, truly digital business.
The socialbusinessforum.com defines a social business as: “An organisation that has put in place the strategies, technologies and processes to systematically engage all the individuals of its ecosystem (employees, customers, partners, suppliers) to maximize the co-created value.”
So what would the roadmap to that look like? And what would be the benefits? That’s the journey Orbit is about to embark upon. Yes it’s about technology. But it’s also about culture. And saving hundreds of thousands of pounds. And the structure of our organisation. And scores of other things too.
So while I will continue to tweet on a daily basis, social media is just a small step on a strategic journey of true transformation. We’ve done the social bit. Now it’s time to do the business.