The Future of Business is Socialised!

British novelist Elizabeth Jane Howard once said, “Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family: Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”  Human beings are naturally social, have gathered in tribes for millions of years and social technologies allow people to form and coordinate more easily than ever. According to the book ‘Tribal Leadership’ organisations inevitably develop internal tribes – groups of between 20 and 150 members with interlocking ties. Our research shows that companies should encourage social collaboration in order to build a competitive advantage and reap the tangible benefits. 

[Video] Which Companies Should Take Advantage of Socialised Learning & Collaboration?

Watch what Rhys said at the CIPD Learning & Development 2014 Exhibition

[VIDEO] What is Socialised Learning and Collaboration? [Part 1]

Watch what Rhys said at the CIPD Learning & Development 2014 Exhibition

[VIDEO] What is Socialised Learning and Collaboration? [Part 2]

Watch what Rhys said at the CIPD Learning & Development 2014 Exhibition

People Power: An Introduction to Socialised Business [Part 1]

People Power: An Introduction to Socialised Business [Part 1]




Over just the last few years the introduction of social technologies has revolutionised human interaction at an unprecedented rate, in ways never before imagined.  More people are able to communicate faster than ever before, and yet in many ways the full potential of these technologies remains beyond our current understanding. Companies were quick to adopt these new technologies, but after initial rapid growth this has slowed and few organisations are fully grasping the true potential value of becoming ‘socialised’.  

To date, those companies to exploit social technologies have done so mainly for marketing and product development, or connecting with customers and gathering market insight. Yet research suggests the real value opportunities lie in the driving of organisational change brought about through enhanced communications, knowledge sharing and collaboration, achieved through rapid, transparent interactions between both internal and external stakeholders.

Giving us a glimpse of how these benefits might be monetised, a recent analysis of just four global industry sectors suggests that social platforms can unlock a potential $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in value, and this represents less that 25% of global industry sales. 

But critical to successfully embracing social technologies to become a fully-networked, socialised organisation, is the understanding that technology is merely an enabler.  Used in the right way, the smart way, the organisational opportunities are plentiful:

  • Real-time interaction with your customer: Crowdsourcing new ideas
  • Collaborative Learning: Truly utilise the knowledge of your workforce
  • Knowledge Platforms: Build on your people’s insights and wisdom
  • Implement “Communities of Practice”: Develop them into expert pools
  • Valuable Feedback: Get real-time feedback across hierarchies and divisions
  • Socialised learning: Practical, useful, engaging and cost effective
  • Decision-making: Better decisions through active engagement of your people
  • Boost innovation: Socialised collaboration and ideas-sharing on a large scale

Why we can no longer ignore the ‘socialised revolution”

We have seen considerable change in the work environment over the last decade and employee engagement, motivation and continuous development are now considered key-factors for success.  But when we examine this growing ‘human-perspective’, we see that many businesses are in fact underperforming and failing to reach their potential. 

Research shows that approximately of 60-75% of employees, across all industries and hierarchies are disengaged from their jobs.  Employees increasing feel disempowered and at the same time, burn-out rates are on the rise.  What’s going on?

A recent survey conducted in America revealed that less than 25% of non-management employees are fully engaged in their work, with those employed in education, social work or sales being least engaged. The result of this is a huge decrease of productivity. 

Demotivated and unengaged employees complain about standardised and controlled information flow, top-down decision making and restricted roles.  It is estimated that the average time spent managing email constitutes 28% of the workweek, with an additional 20% spent searching for internal information or for colleagues who can assist in a specific task. 

A proven solution to this lays in increased transparency and information/knowledge sharing by using technology as an enabler.  Not only can employee motivation and engagement be enhanced by streamlining and simplifying these tasks, but productivity can be increased through faster, more efficient and effective collaboration at all levels of an organisation.

In future, fully-networked companies will be able to personalise and automate information flows, decision-making processes and individuals’ engagement. Organisations that are able to self-regulate and dynamically adjust teams and groups, and align these with corporate goals, will be able to unleash huge quantities of productive energy, benefitting from a powerful, competitive advantage.

We are at the cusp of a transformation which will revolutionise the world we live and work in. It’s a place where people’s ideas, viewpoints, opinions and votes will directly appraise personal and organisational performances, present and evaluate proposals and significantly influence organisational decision-making processes.

As this happens, up-to-date information will be available in real-time and at an unprecedented level of transparency, ensuring that the good gets separated from the ugly.  We have already seen this in consumer markets where connected customers are leveraging their newly acquired power to maximise their position.  

Rhys Marc Photis leads a team of experienced business professionals who offer collaborative organisational and personal development solutions to multinationals and global organisations.  He assists in future-proofing companies and is the founder of Global Performance Improvement. You can find him on twitter at @RhysGPI or view his full bio on LinkedIn.

Peter Cornish.jpg

Peter Cornish is part of Rhys’s team, working with him in the areas of socialised business and learning platforms. He has a background in education and is currently Country Manager Vietnam for a leading eLearning provider. You can view his full bio on LinkedIn.