sábado, marzo 21, 2009

Gerenciamiento y apertura (Cómo apoyarse en la Web 2.0)

Pocos días atrás Forbes publicó un artículo que relaciona redes sociales informales y empresas, abogando por la utilización de éstas para mejorar las comunicaciones dentro de la empresa, y entre ella y sus clientes. Una lectura atenta puede extraer lecciones para nuestros mercados, pensando en España y Chile especialmente, donde es frecuente un estilo vertical de manejo de las relaciones internas y externas.
Matthew Fraser y Soumitra Dutta, autores del artículo, destacan las ventajas de comunicación y retroalimentación que implica una red abierta en tiempo real, y resaltan la resistencia al cambio y el criterio verticalista usual en las dirigencias. Qué dicen:
Many corporate executives either dismiss social networking as a time-wasting distraction or regard it as a risk management problem. Much of their fear has focused on potential risks like security breaches and data privacy.

Web 2.0 evangelists, on the other hand, argue that social software can be used to boost productivity. They say it can facilitate an open-ended corporate culture that values transparency, collaboration and innovation. Most important, it can be an effective way to build a customer-centric organization that not only communicates authentically but also listens to customers and learns from that interaction.

In the current stormy economy, as companies look for new ways to market their products and engage their customers, chief executive officers are finally looking more and more at how social networking tools can extend their brands, create corporate cultures based on listening and learning, and establish their own leadership profiles.

Nonetheless, big brands, generally speaking, haven't successfully tapped the potential of social media; they tend to regard Web 2.0 platforms as just another way to push out short-term marketing campaigns. They fail to grasp that the new media require new ways of doing business. Old ways need to be tossed out.

(...) Most CEOs, let's face it, are cut off from their most important constituencies, including employees and customers. Their press conferences are carefully stage managed, their annual meetings over-rehearsed, and in both cases the goal is usually to reveal as little as possible. Web tools like blogs can help corporate leaders enhance their credibility by communicating directly and having authentic conversations with key stakeholders.

(...) Corporate leaders can use Web 2.0 tools not only to communicate but also to learn from employees, suppliers, customers and the public. Many corporations spend large sums trying to find out what people think of them. Plugging into the blogosphere or listening to feedback on Twitter offers a more effective and cost-efficient way of learning how to approach customer relations.

A CEO can use Web 2.0 tools not only to communicate and learn, but also to instigate action and become a more effective leader. Tools like blogs and podcasts put a top executive in more direct contact with employees, cutting through multiple layers of middle managers, who can be motivated by their own agendas to frustrate direct communication. A persuasive CEO can use Web 2.0 tools to boost morale, foster creativity and enhance the values of open collaboration.

CEOs can use Web 2.0 tools to make themselves known as intellectual leaders not only among their employees and customers but also with the media and the public. Public relations people often get nervous when CEOs wants to connect directly, but a CEO who blogs intelligently can enhance his personal brand as an intangible corporate asset.

(...) Is there any peril in Web 2.0 for CEOs? Yes, there are dangers that corporate leaders must work to avoid, such as confidentiality breaches if financial matters are disclosed, harm to a company's reputation caused by blogging employees and negative blowback from the blogosphere.

(...) The key message for corporate leaders seeking to harness the benefits of Web 2.0 is that simply deploying the software is not enough. The challenge is to ensure that the company's corporate culture is infused with values of openness and transparency. Of course, at many corporations that's easier said than done.

As the management guru Gary Hamel observes, "While the Web was founded on the principle of openness, the most honored virtue among senior executives seems to be control. Most companies have elaborate programs for top-down communication, including newsletters, CEO blogs, Webcasts and broadcast e-mails. Yet few, if any, companies have opened the floodgates to grassroots opinion on critical issues."

These are tough challenges. But Web 2.0 is finally gaining momentum in corporations, with an urgency increased by the current economic climate. It's now reasonable to predict that following the Web 2.0 revolutions in personal interactions and politics, a corporate Web 2.0 tipping point is on the horizon.

Un modelo basado en la confianza en la gente, en el trabajo colaborativo, en la delegación de responsabilidades, encontraría valiosas herramientas en la Web 2.0 (por llamar de alguna manera al conjunto de recursos disponibles). Un modelo basado en las decisiciones tomadas en la soledad, o en la consulta con confidentes y cofrades, y en el liderazgo comercial por monopolio, despreciará la oportunidad. ¿Quién tendrá mejor resultado?.

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