Leveraging Social Networks
To forge closer connections with customers, partners, and future employees, CEOs will shift their focus from using E-mails and phones to using social networks as a new path for direct engagement.
Today, 16 per cent of CEOs are using social business platforms to connect with customers. That number is poised to spike to 57 per cent within the next three to five years. This trend is more significant in ASEAN. The use of social networks is expected to increase to 68 per cent from the current 25 per cent as ASEAN CEOs plan to use social media with face-to-face engagement.
After decades of top-down control, the shift has substantial ramifications for organisations, managers, employees, universities, business schools, and information technology suppliers. IBM’s research finds that technology is viewed as a powerful tool to recast organisational structures. 53 per cent of CEOs worldwide are planning to use technology to facilitate greater partnering and collaboration with outside organisations. 52 per cent (ASEAN: 47 per cent) are shifting their attention to promoting great internal collaboration.
“CEOs realise that even greater levels of control are not the key to greater innovation and financial performance. Leaders have seen how extremely dynamic social networks can serve as the foundation of amazing levels of collaboration. ASEAN CEOs are keen to leverage social networks and focus on collaboration, both internally and externally,” says G Venkatraghavan, managing partner, IBM Global Business Services Singapore.
Greater openness increases vulnerability. The Internet, especially through social networks, can provide a worldwide stage to any employee interaction. For firms to operate effectively in this environment, employees must embody the organisations’ values and mission. Organisations must equip employees with a set of guiding principles to empower their daily decision-making.
Focusing on Collaboration
ASEAN CEOs regard interpersonal skills of collaboration (Global: 75 per cent, ASEAN: 87 per cent) and creativity (Global: 61 per cent, ASEAN: 72 per cent) as key drivers of employee success to operate in an interconnected environment.
Anita Mehta Iyer, partner and leader, strategy and transformation, ASEAN IBM Global Business Services says: “Given their intent to create greater openness, CEOs are looking for employees who will thrive in this kind of atmosphere. CEOs are increasingly focused on finding employees with the ability to constantly reinvent themselves. These employees are comfortable with change. They learn as they go, often from each other.”
To build its next-generation workforce, organisations have to actively recruit and hire employees who excel at working in open, team-based environments. Leaders must build and support practices to help employees thrive. They can do so by encouraging the development of unconventional teams, promoting experiential learning techniques, and utilising high-value employee networks.
The trend toward greater collaboration extends beyond the corporation to external partnering relationships. Partnering is now at an all-time high. More than two-thirds of global CEO’s, 69 per cent, intend to partner extensively. In ASEAN, this number is even higher at 79 per cent, with CEOs in the region aiming to partner extensively as part of their core innovation strategy.
Since the CEO Study series began, technology has progressively risen on the radar of CEOs. 71 per cent of global CEOs regard technology as the top factor to impact their organisation’s future over the next three years. It is a bigger change agent than shifting economic and market conditions.
Given the data explosion most organisations are facing, CEOs recognise the need for more sophisticated business analytics to mine the data being tracked online. Seven out of 10 CEOs, 73 per cent globally, are making significant investments in their firms’ ability to draw meaningful customer insights from available data.
While 68 per cent of ASEAN CEOs agree that technology is an important factor impacting their organisations, they consider people skills (Global: 69 per cent, ASEAN 87 per cent) as the most critical factor. This is followed by market factors (Global: 68 per cent, ASEAN 74 per cent). People skills continue to rank higher in ASEAN countries, as the region continues to experience growth from the shortage of skilled resources.
The war for talent is especially acute when considering how leaders in the region (Global: 71 per cent, ASEAN: 72 per cent) identified human capital as the most important source of sustained economic value in their organisations.
For more information on study findings click here