Social Business Sandy

BIZTECHBUZZ in the world of social, cognitive, IoT and startups

Month: April 2011

Cook it in Social Sause!

While at BlogHer, I had the opportunity to meet with Michelle Stern, author of  The Whole Family Cookbook.   It was great to hear her story of how her small business is leveraging Social to grow into a Social Business on many fronts!

If we look at our Social Business Agenda, she has really focused on doing this right!

So how did she leverage Social? Let me try to frame it as the A-G-E-N-D-A!

She Aligned her corporate goals to the social business vision.   The soul of the recipes are from social networking sites!

Her focused on Gaining friends by targeting those who have common interests with her company What’s Cooking for Kids.  Her target of course are those who love to cook, and involve their kids.

She engaged her Fans through a number of ways.  For example, she involved them in her process of writing her book.  Once the book was finished, she put together a pdf sample of the book and put it on facebook – as a bonus for people who join the community.  In a matter of days, she grew by several hundred people and has great engagement and excitement of cooking with kids!  And now that the book is actually for sale, she has an amazing group of bloggers doing reviews and giveaways — they are her brand advocates!  Village Harvest Rice also sponsored an incredible movie trailer for her new book.   It helps people to get to know me better and understand where the book is coming from.  Check it out here!

(Social) Networking her processes, even as a small business, she decided that her “product development” process would be social.   What’s her product development?  Developing recipes of course!   All of the recipes in her book were tested by members of her facebook community (

Analyze the data!  Traffic to her site has gone up by 40% and the Facebook community has grown 50-100 people a day for the past few weeks.  All of these in process metrics are helping her grow her book sales, and cooking classes!

I get lots of questions on can this work for a Small Business…..Michelle is a great example of how a small business can leverage the power of Social Business.    Michelle certainly has!   (Also, check out the new book she has .. I bought it and my daughters have been engaged in learning how to cook!  I love the keys to which recipe steps are for which age children!)

Social Business In Canada – Celestica!

I was in Canada this week (yes, on a 9 hour flight due to weather and maintenance issues!) meeting with the great IBM team there and some superb clients.  I had an opportunity to go and see Celestica around a $6M company.  

They design, manufacture and ship complex electronic components for international clients, manages customer relationships, operates end-to-end supply chains and logistics, and develops processes and software to support its clients.  The company employs more than 30,000 people in worldwide locations, such as China, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Mexico, the USA and Romania.

Walking in:    As I went into their building, I immediately saw the passion around Social Business from Celestica.  Basically,  Celestica wanted to have social communities to drive sharing of ideas across all their locations.  Think of best practices, innovations, and even just networking to drive up productivity.

Below is the encouragement to join the overall community and to start subtopics that add value.

Innovation Explosion!

While they do have a community manager, the discussion groups are very organically grown.    The most popular one?  On helping the Japan team with encouragement and moving workload around due to the disaster in that part of the world.     But there are more… on best practices on their processes, and their competitive advantages.    So much so that CISCO just named their Partner of the year on both the IT and business side!

The results of this new community are reduced cost and increased innovation. In fact, the team lead by CIO Mary Gendron and Sr Director of IT TQ (Tianbing Qian!).   The cool thing was the they formed a collaboration council to drive ideas, made up of line of business leaders, and had over 2000 collaboration champions in the company.

Further results have been that this has been named the #1 Game Changer Award winner, and it has reshaped and inspired the corporate culture.  From the CEO on down, they have changed their culture of their company from Silo to a single driving organization set on changing the world.