It starts with the future (part 1)

By Alexander Klier By Jeffrey Backus May 12, 2015
It starts with the future (part 1)

Translation of the Original Article by Alexander Klier

The Social Business Arena was partially well attended. It was a pity that the location in Hall 4 wasn’t the best. In fact, its content had much to offer and would have deserved more visitors. But this leaves room for future arenas.
Picture: Sebastian Thielke

Is Social paving the way for the future? To be more exact: Is Social Software or a Social Collaboration platform a sign of the digital transformation in the future? The Social Business Arena 2015 was aiming to provide an answer to that. For the 3 days it has mobilized more than 50 experts as a public symposium. In the process important problems with the use of Social Software were discussed. We at Beck et al. Service have supported the Social Business Arena from the beginning as a Service Partner. We also use this fair to exchange internally about what drives us and how we see the digital transformation. And not only during the Social Business Arena, but also long before and afterwards. This Blog is supposed to provide a brief resume and to refer to the conferences’ results as well as to open questions. It might be best to start with what moved us leading up to the Social Business Arena. This will be followed by a look at what became of our ideas after the Social Business Arena or what would be noted as a result. In the second part of this Blog (here) I will analyze what (substantive) contributions we ourselves have enriched the Social Business Arena with.

Our preparations for the arena

We think that deciding on the technology plays a central role with digitally transforming towards the future. Siegfried Lautenbacher already made this clear leading up to the Social Business Arena. During an Interview, where he emphasized that every company has different conditions, as well as at the Pre-Conference Hangout. 
But what can companies do precisely in order to come to a well-thought through decision when choosing the technology? We wanted to provide an answer and that’s why two questions chased us leading up to the Social Business Arena.

  1. How can we demonstrate that, when implementing a Social Collaboration Platform, it’s not primarily just about elaborating and refined planning, but about the implementation, the doing? And how can we accompany companies substantially?
  2. What does a digital transformation mean for the work, or how will the framework of work change in the future? What needs to be done for a positive design? What other recommendations can we give companies about the implementation of the correct platform?

Answering the first question led us to the concept of Social Scouts, which will be supplemented by a Social Guidebook and its own website (Social+Do - here). The expectations regarding the concept were very different. What emerged positively during and after the Arena was that the basic concepts – to enable individual access or to start with detailed customer experiences and to derive a “Tour” (to also to be seen as a plan for implementation) – were very well received. We will continue to work on it, and not just for the Social Business Arena 2016.

Our Social Scout Concept with Guidebook. Distinction: highly recommended. At least if we base it on the feedback from the people who received our Social Scout Guidebook. It provides plenty of room for your thoughts about Social Collaboration.

In order to answer the second question we for one formulated a description why digital transformation is the correct analyses of the current situation: A transformation (compared to a revolution) is based on a transition that can take longer and therefore provides more design options (here the original post). Besides that – and to emphasize the answer to the first question – we clarified for us that the digital revolution is not a natural event, but something that is organized by people. And accordingly it can - and must - be designed (here). In two further Blogsposts (here und here), as well as with the blogs about the Social Business Arena we described - with the somewhat provocative title „Future conditions of labor demand real delimitation!“ – in more detail the starting conditions for the change, as we see it. To us it seems the only way to describe the impact of digital transformation on the future of work is through a proper analyses. Only this will result what has to be regulated on which levels, and obviously how the relevant culture might look. All of our posts also served as preparation for the discussions we participated at the Arena (Part 2).

How will we proceed?

What happens next also follows these two aspects – on the one hand the question if the Social Scout is an adequate tool for choosing the right technology (platform), and on the other hand the digital transformation towards a digital workplace in regards to Consulting Offers. The preparation and attendance at the Social Business Arena resulted for us in two follow up projects and developments: The Social Compass and the Social Roadbook II.

Social Compass 

The Social Compass is our further development of the Social Readiness Check, a proven tool which has already been in use for a while. The compass serves the orientation and current state of the relevant corporation. The direction of the strategy, the platforms’ alignment and most of all the next (small and concrete) steps can be planned with the Social Compass. The Compass is an approach which bases on the portfolios’ wholeness, creates networked areas, and thereby considers the experiences and needs of the relevant enterprise.

Social Roadbook II

The Social Scout Guidebook was well received at the Social Business Arena and afterwards. The idea that customers or potentially interested parties have their own thoughts about our 12 subjects was especially successful. In this respect it is an excellent basis for us and interested companies to be used in Workshops. Reason enough to describe our extended experiences in an even further reaching work: The Social Guidebook II. In it the future of the digital transformation is represented even more tangibly. Based on the needs and experiences, that also have a say in the path of implementation and the selection of the platform. For it starts with the future!