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All the rest is just a promise.
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There are still those who think the customer is a thing to be done to. Then there are also those who think that if a customer is to be listened to at all it is only to take part in a vote on stuff you've already decided to make or do.
And there are others still who are Open Business enough to consider allowing customers to shape products and services. This is the staple of the open door social media offers to business.
But business strategy? Surely that's one step beyond.
No. Not for a vast chunk of CEOs at the highest performing businesses.
IBM's Customer Activated Enterprize report reveals that: "More than half of CxOs expect to open up their enterprises – bringing down barriers to extend collaboration inside and outside.
Their most radical shift may be a new view on what it means to collaborate with customers."
The report is the result of interviews with 4,000 CEOs, CMOs, CFOs, CIOs a similar leaders from 70 countries and across 20 industries. It reveals 60 per cent of CEOs plan to directly engage their customers and proactively apply what they learn to set their business agendas in the next three to five years.
Already 43 percent of CEOs include customers in the development of business strategies.
And it's not just any old companies. IBM says there is a key correlation between the companies that succeed and their levels of external collaboration. Outperforming companies are 54 percent more likely to collaborate extensively with customers.
IBM's own story of collaboration features in my book, The 10 Principles of Open Business, available for pre-order today.
If you couldn't make it in person, and were tied up while it was broadcast, yesterday's panel 'Open Business - 21st Century Organisations' is now archived and ready to watch at your leisure.
I do a short intro and then fire the questions at a stellar line-up:
Mark Earls (Author of Herd: How to Change Mass Behaviour by Harnessing Our True Nature, I'll Have What She's Having, and Welcome to the Creative Age – Bananas, Business and the Death of Marketing). Mark is also winner of an Emerald Insights Award and a significant contributor to the chapter on Purpose in The 10 Principles of Open Business,
Andrew Hill: Associate Editor and Management Editor of the Financial Times.
Dave Coplin (Author of business bestseller “Business Reimagined: Why work isn’t working and what you can do about it” also joins us. He is Chief Envisioning Officer at Microsoft & The Envisioners).
Chris Hirst, CEO of Grey (London) Since his appointment as CEO in Jan 2010 Grey London has been the fastest growing large agency in London driven through significant new business success, strong organic growth and acquisition. Grey (London)'s success is built on Open Culture.
Dorothy Mead (Commerce innovator. Head of Marketing at Blur Group)
I've also been urging people to take a look at the result of latest research commissioned by The Social Partners (where I work). The video below has founder Ivan Palmer taking us through them.
Highly recommended particularly if you're ready to start making your social marketing something ROI can really be comfortable with.
I'm hoping I will see many of the regular readers of this blog at one or more of the events I'm involved with for Social Media Week London - kicking off on Monday (September 23).
For details of all The Social Partners events (all at The Johnson Building, 77 Hatton Garden, London) follow this link
On it you'll find descriptions of each of our events along with availability. And if you find a sell-out (and there aren't many seats left for any of the events now) you'll note a little video camera icon against the events on Monday. That's because they will all be live-streamed.
These include my panel on Open Business with its all-star line-up (I'm not kidding, go take a look) and the premier of the results of in-depth research on the impact of social and digital on WOM and emerging behaviours,'Big Conversationalists'.
So if you can't be there in person, join us by the flickering light of your PC.
You can watch the Open Business Panel right here: