From Jam to Action. Enabling Organizational Transformation with Social Busines by Stuart J. McRae @smcrae #sbs2011

Stuart McRae's talk will be about IBM's experiences with internal jams. Jams were started in 2001. In 2003 they did a value jam.

What's a Jam? An online forum on which people can post ideas, discuss them, etc. They learned that what happens on the backend is essential for the success of the jam. It makes the results richer.
Jams leverage the collective wisdom of the organization.
They have real-time metrics running in the background, visualized to see who's participating, what are the themes, etc.

What happens after the jam? Sometimes it's easy. With the Jam about values the values were the result. But sometimes it's more complex.

Elements of the Jam are:
  • vision, strategy, purpose
  • Jam!
  • Analysis (e.g. understand why people comment)
  • Champions & Leaders workshop (about 100 employees, face to face networking related to themes)
  • Work streams to turn ideas into action
The most important thing after a Jam is to continue the conversation out in the open. (They did this wrong in the UK Jam, Stuart says.)

Stuart went on to talk about the results of one jam. The core result was: we need better collaboration tools to be more productive. For instance, how do we reduce information overload? By stop sending email. It's about discoverability. So when you need the information you'll be able to find it instead of bugging someone with an email when he/she doesn't need it. This is a fundamental change.

Another way to reduce information overload is to break down organizational silos. They are important (Sales, IT, etc are about different things). However the challenge is how to make the boundaries permeable.
The ultimate silo is your firewall, which has implications for social business. Because the goal of Social Business is to engage customers in a conversation with their employees (while protecting information that you can't share).

Final thought: is social software an aspirine or a vitamine? Does it give you a headache or make you better/healthy? Your employees are your biggest differentiator. Social businesses use them better by being transparent, ensuring employees are engaged and thus becoming nimble. This creates business value.
IBM's social business agenda approach:
  • align organizational goals and culture
  • gain 'friends' through social trust
  • engage through experiences
  • network your business processes
  • design for reputation and risk management
  • analyze your data
"Business is not about being social, it is about doing business. Use social to do it better."

UPDATE April 6, 2011: Added picture and made small corrections to post.

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