Social Business Sandy

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

Month: February 2012 (page 1 of 2)

The Oscars, Baseball, Protein Folding, Football: What’s in Common? Social! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ibm #ibmpartner

Wow!    Social has come a long way!   Many Universities are now using social to drive innovation!  Can  you believe that social is the tie that binds football, baseball, the Oscars, and Protein Folding? !  Read more!

1.  University of Washington.   The University of Washington Department of Computer Sciences was looking for new way to solve a problem that has challenged life sciences researchers for many years: examing and figuring out the right shape and the right function for proteins to try to cure diseases.  The problem itself had millions of possibilities and many nuances that created a problem that was simply too difficult to solve with computer algorithms alone. It really needed human ingenuity. Some problems have point solutions that are fairly obvious to people but not so for software.

 To tackle the problem however, they needed many people to first understand how to solve the problem and try different permutations, without requiring an extensive scientific background to do so.   What the University of Washington team was create a serious social game with simple rules on how to fold different shapes of proteins. Using a mass group of 57,000 players from a variety of educational backgrounds and locations on this game, they were able to solve in 3 weeks a problem that vexed scientists for years. It simply took the social collective intelligence and effort of many individuals to deliver effective solutions in at least one fiftieth the amount of time.  The Solutions that resulted from the analysis of the game play provided important insights into development of new retroviral drugs.

 2.  University of Southern CA.  And students at the Annenberg Innovation lab at Souther Cal  working with IBM, have turned twitter information into meaningful data with a Social Sentiment Index.

IBM SmartCloud for Government! #ibmsocialbiz #socbiz #ls12 #cloud

All!  I am back from vacation — went to Dominican Republic!  More on that later!

Today, I will focus the Coffee Break on the SmartCloud for Government!

2 Social Ecosystems Will Emerge?! China and Rest of World #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ls12

I was awaiting Tom Smith’s new Global Web Index and I found the results fascinating.   I’ll blog for the next 3 days on surprising results from the survey!

The first surprise to me, is the progression of China in Social.   In fact,

Some interesting facts:

  • China is up to 50% active users
  • China social technology is on par with the rest of the world.
  • Question:   Will their technology spread to the rest of world?  The report argues that China has the most competitive platform in the world.
  • Officially, Facebook, Twitter & Google+ are banned in China; unofficially, via V.P.Ns and mobile, they are growing.

TD Bank and Social Business! Revolutionizing the World with 5 Lessons! #ibmsocialbiz #socbiz #ibm

I traveled to Toronto Canada last week and met with Wendy Arnott, VP Social Media and Digital Communications at TD Bank.

Wendy is so dynamic!  Her story at TD Bank equally dynamic!  She told me her story!    Wendy and TD Bank set out on their internal Social Business journey by focusing on /three key imperatives:  1.  aligning to TD’s core values,  2. delivering real business outcomes, and 3. acknowledging and facing the risks head on.

Their story started while they were trying to decide if they should keep their branches open on Sundays – a big step in the Canadian marketplace. It made sense to provide a competitive advantage.   However, their employees were a little less keen on the idea.

 They leveraged Social to listen and act.  How did TD get 25,000 people to warm to the idea of working on Sundays?    They made their employees part of a highly transparent decision making process.  She told me, “Believe me, our employees didn’t hold back their opinions – but we were able to surface and address their concerns early on.  In fact, through social, many employees joined in the conversation, advocating the change – very helpful. And by the time we launched seven-day banking, the sentiment had shifted to pride and excitement about being open on Sundays for our customers a fantastic business outcome, achieved by encouraging transparency and asking for feedback.”

Focus on business outcomes. But the aim was not merely to communicate more clearly with the employees.  It is to create and improve business outcomes — and embedding social capabilities in the business processes makes that possible – and maybe even expected.  For exampke, their Customer Experience.  Everyone knows what a suggestion box is, and they always used that approach to find out from front-line employees how to improve processes   

For example.  We added social to the suggestion-box to address a long-time pain-point. A customer service rep, in a small town miles, from head-office shared an idea to transfer a paper-based process to online. He got hundreds of supporting votes from across the country. Before you knew it, that idea was on the radar of senior executives. It’s now implemented and is delivering impressive productivity gains and most important, a much better customer experience.  The idea wasn’t revolutionary, it had come up before, but until social amplified it, there was no business case.  And this is just one example of the opportunities we anticipate by embedding social in business process.

 Another good example happened when TD was  introducing a TD mobile banking app –they first launched it to the employees. They tested it and rapidly leveraging social, identified opportunities. Their feedback allowed us perfect the app before it app reached customers.

Another example Wendy showed me was their Women in Leadership work, and their WOW Board, where their employees post their best stories helping clients out!

Wendy shared her 5 practical things learned from my social business experience at TD:

  1.  Leadership commitment is crucial.  Without strong support at the top, this can’t be done. In our case, the entire Senior Executive Team believed in and supported IBM Connections from the very beginning.
  2. Dedicated social business team.  Someone should be waking up every morning  thinking about how to make this a success.
  3. Great partnerships. Things don’t just “happen” at a large organization.  Many groups need to be at the table — including Legal, Compliance, HR, Communications, Privacy and Marketing.   And one of the biggest and most important partners is IT
  4. Know it is about transformational change. It will rock the boat, you can expect resistance. To build support and foster lasting adoption devote resources. Get into the weeds with some business teams – help them discover how social will address business challenges and how to get started. Then showcase their success – so it can be leveraged by others.
  5. Leverage your employees. They get it and they can advocate on a larger scale more quickly. TD Bank created a volunteer Connections Genius team and provided them with special resources. They helped lead the change.

Social Business Coffee Break! Do you have a digital council?! #ibmsocialbiz #socbiz #ibm

I think one of the best practices in becoming a Social Business is to form a digital council to guide social activities embedded throughout the organization.  Take a listen and tell me about what you do in this area!

The POWER of Social drives Good. Check out how teens are leveraging it! #socbiz #ls12

I love good stories and giving back to the community.  With Social, the world is a whole new place!

This story came to me from one of the IBMers on my team.   His daughter  (KellyLogan)  and her friends launched a similar social campaign to the one used to connect and enlist the support of Justin Bieber (driving organ donor awareness).  Helene Campbell and her circle of friends shot a video which was sent to Ellen Degeneres using a variety of social media modes.

A Social Blitz begun last Thursday.

 As I understand it Ellen Degeneres reached out yesterday to Helene Campbell and her story will be seen / heard today on the The Ellen show (10 ET).   See the show here!

The likelihood of this occurring without harnessing the power of social media is next to nil. With Ellen’s intervention and involvement we expect to see a strong spike in organ donor registry. Each donor’s organs can save up to 8 lives and impact up to another 75 lives with ‘quality of life’ enhancing tissue donations. There was a 600% spike in organ donor registry following Justin Bieber’s retweet of support to his 16.5M followers (linking them to Helene’s video, her blog and the “Be A Donor” application form).

Simple Social Facts! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ibm #ls12

I was reviewing many studies tonight on Social progress and thought these factoids were thought provoking!

  • 72% of businesses repot that they are deploying at least one social technology!  WOW!
  • Social networking is now 22% of all time online, 1 of every 4.5 minutes
  • Smartphone shipments will outcome PCs by 2012
  • Latin America, the Middle East, and China are now spending more time on social networking than email
  • Globally, the total minutes spent on social networks monthly grew more than 100% over the same time last year!
  • 9 of 10 business using Web 2.0 technology see measurable business benefits from its use
  • In 5 years, 89% of current global population will have a mobile device
  • The world spends more than 110 billion minutes on social networks and blog sites per month!


Social Business Lessons for Valentine’s Day!!! #ibmsocialbiz #socbiz #ibm

Valentine’s day is all about special relationships!  With 1 in 5 marriages beginning online, social helps in relationships — both personal and professionally.

Since social tools are relationship builders, while we celebrate Valentine’s Day, I’d like to share best practices for connecting and building relationships!

1.   Listen.  Make sure you have social listening tools in place to listen to what people are saying to your company, about your company, and around your category.  To me, this is the most important thing in any relationship, online or offline, is to spend more time listening and understanding that speaking!

2.  Develop Business Relationships.   Focus on trust and adding value to your business relationships online.   I know you’ve heard quality over quantity but it is very important.   Don’t try to have too many relationships that are sparse but deep relationships where you can showcase your value.   The most influence is usually not those with the most friends but those with the deepest relationships that are true.

3.  Be a whole person.    Yes, you don’t want to tweet that you went to get a coffee, but you do want to share some of your personal likes as well.  Afterall, the world has moved beyound B2B, and B2C, but is not on P2P –>  People to People.   For instance, I blogged once on my favorite foods,  spurred on with sporting events like the SuperBowl, and shared my preferences in the Grammies!   This is all part of building a relationship!

4.  Accept and Manage Risk.  You cannot trust everyone, but where you invest your time, you must trust others.  Just manage the risk of sharing information in the way appropriate with your company’s policies.   And make sure you know that this is about friends of friends too!   So the information will spread!  Be smart when you share!

5.   Balance in person and online.  You know I think relationships are strongest when you have met in person.   That personal touch should not be lost.   For instance, I just traveled to Europe and received a thank you note – not tweet.  I loved it!  I loved the tweetup where I got to meet my followers and those I follow!   Balance the two!

Now before Valentine’s Day is over, go out and let your friends know how special they are!! 



Monday’s Social Business Coffee Break! #socbiz #ibmsocialbiz #ibm #ls12 #ibmconnect

I am very excited about today’s coffee break as it showcases the reasons why companies become Social Businesses.

IT is from IBM’s Trend Report on Cloud, Social and Mobile.   Take a listen!

I love ICELAND and Nyherj! GREAT Social Usage! #ibmsocialbiz #socbiz #ibm #ibmpartner

Team:  I just spend a day with our IBM Partner Nyherj and learned alot about Iceland and its Social Excellence!  The Nyherji team is an outstanding user of Social and value creator with clients in Iceland!

Iceland rocks social!   For instance, did you know:

  1. The Iceland Constitution was reworked using Social Communities!
  • 4 – month constitutional process
  • 25 – person council elected by popular vote
  • Sought comments/dialogue on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, flickr
  • Gathered 1600+ ideas on council website
  • Constitution submitted to Parliament on July 29, 2011

After Iceland’s economic collapse in 2008, the island nation decided it was time to write a new constitution. Iceland’s small population of 320,000 elected 25 assembly members from 522 ordinary candidates (including lawyers, political science professors, journalists, and many other professions), who in turn opened their process up to the public in an unprecedented example of crowdsourcing.  The Council was given less than four months to create a draft of the constitution before it was to be presented to the Icelandic Parliament. The Constitutional Council was highly active on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr, where they solicited comments and suggestions for the new government. The committee’s website (, also quickly became an incubator for comments, with more than 1,600 propositions and comments on the suggested text.  On Friday July 29th, 2011, the Iceland parliament officially received the new constitution.

2.  Pariliament members like Siv Fridleifsdottier have embraced social for their citizens.

And there is more to come!!!   I met with Ari Kristinn Jonsson, President of Reykjavik University, and over 100 attendees on Social Business.    Ari has innovative university programs focusing on entrepreneurial endeavors. I met one of his past new CEOs who is focused on Social Gamification!    Very impressive!

I loved Iceland, the people, the country, and the passion for Social!  Iceland is ranked number 3 in the world for the percentage of population using Facebook and Icelanders have most Facebook friends;  The AVERAGE number of friends each Facebook user in Iceland has is 290 friends. That is number one on the world, according to Facebook, and more than double the world average.

I hope I have gained a whole new set of friends there as well!

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