IdeaComb Blog

Social Workplace : A top down cultural change driving bottom up performance

Social media technologies have certainly changed our day to day lives dramatically on how we communicate connect and engage in conversations with our family, friends, colleagues at work and our customers.

Most of the enterprises today have embraced this change to reach out to their customers by having a presence on social media sites like Facebook. Today we see most of the leading consumer brands advertising themselves as “Like us” at

While this change has been significantly visible for every enterprise’s marketing communications reaching out to it’s customers, the same level of rigor is missing when it comes to communicating with your own employees. Every enterprise has it’s Intellectual Properties in the form of products, services or brands that drive the business performance. Though the single most important element that drives this intellectual property creation is it’s employees, the human talent in an organization.


Change in our outward behaviors in the social media is also driving change in how employees expect the organization leadership, management and colleagues communicate & collaborate with each other.

American corporate culture thrived for last few decades post-industrial revolution and with the focus on “Management”. Harvard Institute was certainly instrumental in driving this change by introducing courses to cultivate a breed of professional managers aka MBAs. This led in driving the enterprise performance by departmentalizing the core functions and processes. The key theme was the best performance is achieved by formalizing functions and processes that are executed by professionals trained for those specific functions.

While this has certainly achieved the growth and dominance of American businesses in world economy, we are now at an inflection point where the next decade of growth driver is Innovation in every sphere of enterprise operations.

For many large organizations this departmental conflict has been a performance drag. Today we have an enormous opportunity to tap into social behaviors to knock off these barriers and get employees to collaborate better.

Social media technologies provide a compelling advantage of enabling employees to cross the physical boundaries of their departmentalized organization culture and contribute in meaningful innovation in every organizational function and business process.

This is a significant organizational cultural change on how you communicate & collaborate. Any cultural change need to be Top Down and starts from the executive management. As executives start embracing the new social tools in communicating with employees, it starts driving an increased level of transparency and culture of open communication. This not only provides opportunity for executives to attract ideas, suggestions or recommendations on various challenges on a day to day basis to make effective decisions but also provides visibility to emerging talent, key influencers & leaders in your organization.

The biggest value add social workplace communication channels bring in is that, it makes some of your most intelligent though introvert in nature employees to start contributing. Many of them may not contribute effectively in an in person conference room meeting though they will come out with brilliant ideas in the virtual brainstorming.

In summary, Embrace social workplace culture in your organization starting from executives and benefit from the bottom up performance: in employee productivity, innovation & delighted customers.

More energized is your workforce, more innovative ideas are executed and happier are your customers.
Posted in Idea Management, Innovation Management