Resilient Corporate Strategy Needed Due to Social Media

Harish Manwani, Global COO of Unilever and Chairman, Hindustan Unilever Limited, spoke at the ‘Leadership in the New Age’ event at the Graduate Business Conference organised by the Indian School of Business in Hyderabad. He said that social media and the growth in digital content are forcing organizations to revisit their strategies and adapt accordingly.

Mr. Manwani told the students of the Indian School of Business that  the business landscape is changing fast. There are big changes in business-to-business (B2B) models where agility and speed in decision-making is of paramount importance.

Mr. Manwani said:

“The consumer is taking ownership of the content and the social media is creating the content about products”. Change is a necessity.

The learning organization as the ultimate competitive advantage

ack Welch said “an organization’s ability to learn and translate that learning into action rapidly, is the ultimate competitive advantage.” The learning organization facilitates the abovementioned competitive advantage, it empowers employees, it enriches and enhances the customer experience and collaboration with key business partners and ultimately boosts business performance.

The learning organization also facilitates resilience, adaptiveness, flexibility and robustness.

The learning organization has five main characteristics according to Peter Senge:

  1. Systems thinking
  2. Personal mastery
  3. Mental models
  4. Shared vision
  5. Team learning

Technology as enabler and amplifier

In this article I elaborated how the social enterprise/social business are a means to an end, namely the agile and resilient organization. That is exactly –how Jack Welch put it- the key to the learning organization and means to an end as well, to create and sustain a –sustainable- competitive advantage.

Technology supports and enables elements in the main five characteristics. Team learning can be fastened by deploying social technologies such as a community, or sharing quickly challenges and so on.

Personal mastery can be boosted cost-effectively by deploying all kinds of tools that helps professionals get the most out of their day-to-day work. 70% of all learnings happen in the day-to-day work!

Just as with big data, business intelligence and analytics, if an organization cannot get action out of data or in similar way that is being experienced and learned by the workforce, then it’s not adding up to the competitive edge.

The learning organization is the ultimate comepetitive advantage and construct that enables resilience in corporate strategies. Social media is not only the cause but also the means to cost-effectively tackle itself within the organization.