Monday, May 05, 2008

Cultural Socialutions – Oxymoron or Logical Thought Process?

The marketplace is buzzing with the new way of solving problems.

Though is hasn’t been posted at or (yet) “Socialutionsis defined as people, communities and organizations leveraging technology to interact with people for the purpose of solving problems; the act of working together with others to create new solutions to old paradigms of communications and interaction without boundaries and with limitless reach.

The irony of starting with a definition lies in our use of contemporary tools. In order to provide an easy way to use their product for more searches, Google has a relatively simple code that allows us to type in “define: the word you want to define.” So I typed in “define: socialutions.” Though this may change by the time you read this, here’s what I got.

Note that Google, as they often do, tries to be helpful when they find nothing based on your typing . . . and they relate socialutions with associations!

So how is Associations defined? has a head start on this one, where they have the definition as: An organized body of people who have an interest, activity, or purpose in common. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what it will take to implement solutions . . . an organized body who have interests and purposes in common.

Does that define today’s organizations?

In the proposed definition, we identify the need for organizations working together with others to create new solutions. What could possibly stop this from happening?

Personal agendas, political grievances, a lack of agreement . . . all wrapped up in the culture of the organization, that’s what!

Why is the culture a problem when it comes to implementing socialutions? Inherent in the suggestion that a solution is in order is the implication that there is a problem. Most of us, organizational leadership included, want to hear anything but that. The existence of a problem rarely means that everything has been done well. It often means someone has missed something, and that someone may be us or someone who works for us. Usually, problems mean added costs, and that can’t be good.

But socialutions doesn’t need to indicate the existence of a problem. It can be used to define a paradigm. The suggested paradigm is one of problem solving and finding innovative solutions through social exchanges. Many leaders understand the problem solving part, it’s the innovation part there’s difficulty with. As has been noted already, the paradigm means: Engaging the organization’s employees, customers and suppliers for innovation, problem solving and breakthrough ideas, changing the marketing focus, removing barriers, and leveraging technology and social media to increase response time by listening and learning. The end result can only be a changed paradigm, with a cultural transformation where everyone is engaged.

So, look around your organization . . . envision a Corporate Socialution!

What do you think?

No comments: