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Gartner Reveals the Next Chapter in Modern Business Management: The Social Organisation

Being a social organisation goes far beyond experimenting with social media technology tools such as Facebook and Twitter, according to Gartner, Inc. A social organisation addresses significant business challenges and opportunities using social media platforms to enable mass collaboration — what Gartner predicts will be the next evolutionary pillar defining how work gets done around the world.
Analysts at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011, being held through today, will explain how mass collaboration extends beyond social media to enable employees, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders to participate directly in the creation of value. However, few executives and managers know how to turn opportunities for greater collaboration into meaningful business results.
In the recently published book, "The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees" (by Harvard Business Press, October 2011), co-authors Anthony J. Bradley, group vice president at Gartner, and Mark P. McDonald, group vice president and head of research at Gartner Executive Programs, reveal how executives from CEOs to managers can make mass collaboration a source of enduring competitive advantage in their business.
"Deployed effectively, social media unleashes the collaborative power of employees at all levels and locations in your organisation, customers and prospects, and partners anywhere in your company's value chain — while minimising the constraints imposed by the specialisation and compartmentalisation that inevitably creep into businesses as they grow," Mr Bradley said.
"Organisations can achieve unprecedented business results by using social media to effectively tap into the power of mass collaboration," said Mr McDonald. "New mass collaboration capabilities are irreversibly redefining what it means to be a highly productive organisation."
In the book, Mr Bradley and Mr McDonald share insights from their study of more than 400 organisations around the world — including Xilinx, NASA and CEMEX — that have used social technologies towards these ends. Mr Bradley and Mr McDonald identify a set of core disciplines that managers need to master to translate mass collaboration into results:

  • Vision: defining a compelling vision of progress toward a highly collaborative organisation
  •  Strategy: taking community collaboration from risky and random success to measurable business value
  • Purpose: rallying people around a clear purpose, not just providing them with technology
  • Launch: creating a collaborative environment and convincing customers and employees to embrace it
  • Guide: participating in and influencing communities as they pursue their purpose, without stifling collaboration
  • Adapt: responding creatively to change by modifying the organisational context to better support community collaboration
"The Social Organization" highlights the benefits and challenges of using social technology to tap the power of collective effort. Packed with practical advice and compelling examples, this new book reveals how leaders can make collaboration a management imperative to help guide and nurture employee communities and in turn, create social organisations.
Additional comments from Mr Bradley and Mr McDonald from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2011 are available on the Gartner YouTube channel at

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