Build your social strategy 'the times they are a-changin'

​When I'm out talking to clients or reading the latest research around social technologies it's clear that there is still hesitation, nervousness and scepticism around embracing these types of technologies

Build your social strategy 'the times they are a-changin'

 I often hear comments like "that's just going to add noise" or "what if someone says something they shouldn't?" These are all genuine and valid concerns, but I believe that the benefits of Social outweigh the risks.

My main argument isn't that they can help harness knowledge and drive collaboration (although they do), but the reason great companies need to get on-board with social is far deeper than that. It's my opinion that organisations that want to attract and retain the top up and coming talent must have both the tools and a strategy for enterprise social for no other reason than the fact that for most of the younger populations of the western world, social media platforms are becoming the defacto way to communicate.

I like to think that I can speak with some experience on this statement being the proud father of 4 girls (2 of them teenagers). I’ve watched them closely over the years and always been fascinated with the way they have adopted new technology, devices and services. I've watched them through the early email and MSN Messenger years, then onto Blackberry Messenger (BBM) and eventually now observe the way they communicate, create and interact with content and friends on multiple Social Media channels. A smart phone or touch devices is most definitely their weapon of choice as they talk to their friends about homework using Facebook instant chat, take pictures of their latest sporting victory and upload them to Instagram and report how they are feeling over twitter. Although we all still rely heavily on email in the workplace, for them it's an outdated antiquated technology that never seems to get used by them or any of their friends.

Based on my years of observations its clear to me that the enterprise must catch-up with the ever evolving wider world and specifically how the next generation are using cutting edge technology to communicate, have their say and get things done. I don't think many people would disagree with me if I said that a large proportion of our workforces today struggle with much more than email. Imagine what an organisation might be like with almost super human information workers that could use technology like Yammer and SharePoint with maximum proficiency and use them in ways we never thought possible to drive collaboration, knowledge sharing and communication.

As a new generation enter the world of work we will see sophisticated, confident, and technology savvy people. Achievement-orientated, radically diverse and with high expectations of their employers. Not only will the next generation workforce make​ enterprise social a must have mainstream business tool, but they will choose organisations who adopted this type of culture over companies that stay more traditional. This will naturally lead to all the top talent gravitating to companies that have embraced the social agenda and will prove pivotal to business performance and growth.

​"Come senators, congressmen Please heed the call 

Don't stand in the doorway Don't block up the hall 
For he that gets hurt Will be he who has stalled 
There's a battle outside And it is ragin' 
It'll soon shake your windows And rattle your walls 
For the times they are a-changin." - ​Bob Dylan

Will Saville Co-Founder

A serial entrepreneur since his early twenties, Will co-founded BrightStarr in 2006 with Rich. Will was previously a professional chef which allowed him to express his visual creativity and aesthetics. Rich, on the other hand, was a physicist with an incredible curiosity to discover how things worked and how to make them even better. After working together at a previous company, they soon discovered that when they brought their talents together, they were able to generate remarkably engaging and disruptive solutions.

During the next 5 years, Will helped grow the company to become a globally recognized brand in the SharePoint market. Will thrives on creating exceptional user experiences that are unrivalled across the SharePoint industry and is obsessed pushing the limits of technology and innovating. Will is still heavily involved with the business 10 years since launch and spends most of his time working on the Unily products, ensuring they’re the most innovative, usable and consumed SharePoint products out there.

In 2009 Will was recognized for his achievements and selected as one of the UK’s top 30 Young Entrepreneurs winning the coveted Young Guns award.

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Microsoft recently released a little bit more information about it's Office 365 / Yammer roadmap. You can read the details here. The roadmap is a list of activities for bringing the two products together, devised after Microsoft bought Yammer for $1.2 billion in June 2012.