Having dismissed the term ‘social business’ as inappropriate a few months ago, it’s with a rather sheepish grin that I write this post introducing the concept on which our new consultancy has hung its hat, boots and all.
In case you hadn’t already worked out the neologism, Sociagility is about helping organisations achieve social agility. Aside from the fact that I like the term ‘agility’ better than ‘business’ (the latter being, according to the inimitable Euan Semple, often mistaken for just busyness), why ‘social agility’?
First, if social media describes the new world of communication and business agility describes how well organisations respond to changes in the marketplace, then social agility must surely describe how well organisations respond to the new world of communication.
Agility also implies dynamism, dexterity, speed, etc. In sport, agility requires a combination of balance to maintain equilibrium, speed to move quickly, strength to overcome resistance and co-ordination to control movement in co-operation with other functions. There’s something about these attributes that would seem to apply just as well to an organisation trying to achieve competitive advantage from its use of social media as to an Olympic athlete.
In business, agility is often described as the capability to rapidly and efficiently adapt to changes in the business environment. I would argue that there’s no greater change taking place right now than social media (or whatever derivative thereof) and how well an organisation reacts to the new ways (and for many executives outside the social bubble, they are still new) that customers, staff and others are interacting and communication with and around it.
The key factor for me, however, when it comes to being socially agile, is capability. Having the right people, with the right skills, implementing the right strategy, against the right objectives, tracked using the right metrics, using the right systems, processes and rules is absolutely fundamental to any organisation that wants to achieve competitive advantage from social over the long term. Capability – not tools or software – is what differentiates one organisation’s social agility from another, and ultimately what determines competitive advantage.
And that’s what Sociagility is about. Social capability. Building your own in order to become socially agile, not abdicating responsibility for it to PR, advertising, digital or even social media agencies.