The Seven Habits of AntiSocial Businesses

by Jay Deragon on 01/10/2012

A lot is being discussed about social business models and what does social business really mean.  IBM is devoting lots of resources to this subject and they frame their views about what a social business means in the following context.

 Becoming a social business requires a long-term, strategic approach to business culture, executive leadership, an effective corporate strategy, and organizational ability                       to recognize and design for transformation.

According to IBM the results from those already on the journey to becoming a social business show:

  • 90% of respondents report measurable business benefits from Web 2.0 tools, including better access to knowledge, lower costs of doing business, and higher revenues (McKinsey Global Survey 2010)
  • Standout organizations are 57% more likely to allow their people to use social and collaborative tools (IBM CHRO Study 2010)
With such an endorsement of the social business concept and the related improvement opportunities one would think that businesses would pay attention and begin adopting the related philosophies and subsequent strategies to capture the proclaimed benefits.  Instead we see the opposite, businesses continue to live in the management theories of the 20th Century while the customers and employees are living in the 21st Century.  You can spot which businesses are not social by observing their antisocial habits.

The Seven Habits of AntiSocial Businesses

The 21st Century customer and employee have distinctive views as to what makes a business antisocial. These views are created based on the habits of a business and the top seven antisocial business habits are:

  1.  They use “social technology” as a marketing tool rather than an improvement tool
  2. They have no idea that the audience includes their employees and the employees laugh at the false claims they make to the marketplace.  Yet the company has no idea the employees are laughing because they don’t listen.
  3. Leadership has no idea what being a social business means and they think just because they are using social media that makes them a social business.
  4. They are obsessed with ROI on use of social media rather than use of technology to enable people, processes and performance.
  5. They view engagement as tricks, traps and capture techniques while ignoring the customers social experience with the organization as a whole.
  6. They practice 20th Century management methods with an emphasis on top down control vs. bottom up enablement.
  7. They don’t understand nor will they recognize that the entire marketplace is being transformed. Buyers are now the sources of media and their influence is greater than yours. Their attitudes, actions and media relfect the lack of understanding.

The bottom line: If your organization exhibits several of these traits, now is the time to transform your thinking, your actions and your relations.  If your company exhibits several of these traits, now is the time to start looking for a new job.

Other thoughts on Antisocial Businesses

  1. Is Your Business Antisocial? by Brian Solis
  2. The Anti-Social Business from IBM
  3. Antisocial Business Ideas from Realcognitic
  4. The Anitsocial Enterprise from Forbes
  5. Move Over Social Media; Here Comes Social Business from Fast Company


Kimberly Castleberry January 21, 2012 at 1:12 am

Yup. Bottom line is that unfortunately some people from the “traditional marketing” era are stuck in the stone age mentality. Rather than viewing social as just another way to engage with their audience they view it as a tool. Its kinda like asking what the ROI is of the telephone on your desk that you use to make everything from appointments to contracts to taking someone out to lunch. It’s not about the phone… its about the discussion. They’ll either get it, or they’ll be replaced by someone (or some company) that does.

PS: The feed subscription link in the upper right corner of the blog is throwing a 404 error.

Ed Dodds January 13, 2012 at 9:14 am

In IBM’s case, it is an extension of the internal corporate culture to which they aspire (at least for PR purposes) Global Enablement Teams

Grant Crowell January 10, 2012 at 12:03 pm

Excellent article, Jay. I find these same issues prevalent in the social video space. Way too often, the big brands and media agencies are way too fixated on ‘going viral’ with online video, rather than doing what’s truly “social” in business and life: working on cultivating genuine long-term relationships, and improving customer care. My interview with Mari Smith on her book, “The New Relationship Marketing,” is something that should be applicable for any business wanting to stay relevant and sustainable with better social business management.

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