SPLF 2013 Keynote: Dux Raymond Sy, the Enterprise Social Revolution, & #ShiftHappens

In his SPLF 2013 keynote address, Lead the Enterprise Social Revolution: How to Drive Sustainable Adoption, Dux Raymond Sy shed light on the benefits to organizations that incorporate social technology into the daily work-life of their employees. Dux started off talking about the Blockbuster video, discussing their history, their ultimate demise, and the reasons it lost out to competitors such as Netflix and Hulu. In covering this ground, Dux introduced his overarching theme of #ShiftHappens, explaining that when shifts happen, some companies will rise and others will fall.

The shift that is happening now is the social revolution. In today’s world, information moves fast. Think about your Facebook feed; isn’t it constantly updating? With all the social tools available now, your work can be updated just as fast. Dux talked about how social elements enhance communication. He used an industrial revolution model to explain this, using a graphic of a traditionally structured organization, with defined departments working almost independently of each other. Dux contrasted that image with that of a modern organization, looking more like a spider web of interconnectivity: everyone on the same page, everyone working together. This is what social tools provide, a #shift toward a more efficient workplace.

Without adoption, however, all these benefits are moot. Per Dux, the means to making sure that these tools stick include:

  • Contextual training;
  • A focus on purposeful collaboration;
  • Excitement; and
  • Empowering users.

A single training session is not enough for people to adopt new technology. Dux suggests holding consistent, active training, such as “SharePoint lunches” once a month, or regular internal user group meetings. Keeping the training relevant to the trainees, and making it fun, helps them fully understand and see the benefits of new #shifted processes. If you are implementing a tool and don’t really know why, how can it be purposeful? Make sure anything you #shift has a point. Getting users excited and empowered go hand-in-hand. Come up with ways to get people interested, and make sure to let them know you’re excited about them succeeding.

The other thing that needs to be understood is that social tools are not the traditional tools you’re used to and, as such, cannot be evaluated the same way. ROI with social tools cannot be seen on a graph. ROI for social is seen in business culture, attitude, and efficiency. It is very difficult to put a dollar value on social. Because of that fact, it’s best to start small, identifying “low-hanging fruit” that nevertheless represents real pain points, the streamlining of which would make people’s work lives easier. Dux described three groups of people in any organization:

  • The Greens are people who are ready to go with anything new, early adopters.
  • The Yellows are people who will need some convincing.
  • The Reds are people who don’t want to hear the word “change” for any reason.

When implementing new tools, always start with the Greens, because these are the people that will help you show the value, not only to the Yellows and Reds but also to the organization as a whole.

“The social revolution is here whether you like it or not,” as Dux said. When all is said and done, there will be two types of people: the #shifters and the #shifted. Why not be the person doing the #shifting?

Dux’s slide deck