Is Social Media a Management Breakthrough or Fad? Part 4
BusinessWeek’s March 23-30, 2009 issue focuses on Smart Ideas for Tough Times which describes how managers are trying new things to weather the downturn. The most interesting part of the series covers 11 management ideas that are the basics of any business education, but were quite revolutionary at the time.
This 4 part series (See Part 1 here, See Part 2 here, See Part 3 here) will examine these ideas alongside social media to see if we are witnessing a world-changing idea, or just another management fad. First, here is the recap from BusinessWeek:
Some of the most powerful and lasting management methods were launched during tough times, when companies needed new ways to manage costs and grow. Here is a look back at some of the biggest ideas over the past 100 years.
#11 – Reengineering
The Breakthrough: Radically redesign business processes to make them more efficient by removing functional silos and focusing resources on end to end processes.
The Question: Can Social Media help businesses effectively organize resources around complete processes to make them more efficient?
The Answer: Yes, empahtically!
- Cross-functional teams are at the heart of reengineering, and these teams often suffer from poor communication and unclear responsibilities. Creative applications of Social Media will help cross-functional teams more quickly and easily share information that is relevant and accurate.
- Organizing a business around processes requires suppliers of the inputs to be well aware of the needs of the customers of the outputs. Social Media improves the communication at all levels of the supply chain allowing for problems to be quickly solved.
#12 – Open Innovation
The Breakthrough: Companies should look beyond their R&D departments to customers, suppliers, and even competitors for innovative ideas.
The Question: Can Social Media help companies discover ideas while still allowing for control over Intellectual Property rights?
The Answer: Probably Yes
- Open Innovation uses many of the same technologies that launched Social Media. It follows that Social Media will help Open Innovation succeed because they both allow for increased information distributed to the people who will find it most useful.
- The problem is whether all companies can adopt the concept. Open Innovation works for Starbucks because a competitor would have a difficult time implementing an idea without the huge distribution network Starbucks has.
- Other industries, like Hedge Funds or Restaurants, will never completely adopt Open Innovation because they can gain no competitive advantage they could protect from competitors
In: Leadership and Management, Strategy · Tagged with: business week, innovation, Leadership and Management, process