Social & Mobile Networks Are "Eating the World"
Open Matters CEO says corporate boards are "digitally deficient" and must be bolstered for corporate survival
BOSTON, March 7, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Speaking at the Association of Executive Search Consultants' annual event today in New York, Open Matters CEO Barry Libert noted that social and mobile networks are "eating the world," creating massive risks (and potential rewards) for many organizations and governments. However, boards of directors and corporate leaders don't fully comprehend these new technologies, creating enormous volatility in corporate performance and leaders. This spells trouble for many corporations that have embraced today's digital realities.
"Too many boards are digitally deficient—they underestimate the power of social, mobile and cloud technologies," said Libert, a strategy and technology adviser to boards and their leaders. "According to PriceWaterhouseCoopers, 81% of boards are ill-equipped to deal with today's risks. If boards don't attract and retain digital directors and leaders to their ranks and bolster their knowledge in this area, social networks will fundamentally disrupt their businesses and industries creating massive risks that they will not be able to mitigate." Libert points to such companies as Netflix, Bank of America, GoDaddy, and the Susan G. Komen Foundation as examples where boards learned what can happen when boards and leaders don't appreciate the size and growing power of social and mobile networks.
In "Seven Steps for Board Success in the Facebook Age," an article recently published in Knowledge@Wharton, Libert contends that in order to adapt to technology's revolutionizing impact, boards and their executives must embrace new consumerized business models to ensure their long-term viability. His article points to seven steps that boards of directors must embrace to become more in line with social media's risks and rewards.
- Build and foster your employee and customer social networks.
- Recruit corporate directors who understand today's technologies.
- Implement open, collaborative processes to innovate and grow.
- Require directors and executives to embrace today's technologies.
- Measure and manage what matters to insure success.
- Make business personal. After all, it is the social age.
- Implement recognition systems that motivate all your stakeholders.
"In addition to technology know-how, "Libert added, "boards of directors need to embrace new leadership skills - emotional and social intelligence - because their companies are networked both outside and inside a company's four walls. Therefore, directors and leaders need not just the technology skills, but the leadership capabilities to deal with these external networks. Ultimately, networks are just as valuable if not more as any balance sheet item (like fixed assets)."
Libert summarizes today's reality simply: "Leaders must understand that they live in a world where social and mobile networks are bigger than most of the countries and companies on the planet. The result: Boards and executives need to become 'network-centric' if they don't want to follow in the same path as Kodak, Blockbuster and Borders."
"Now more than ever," Libert concluded, "boards need a steady and decisive knowledge of today's technology realities, the growing power of social and mobile networks on their business and ultimately the risk and competitive advantages they create."
About Open Matters
Boston, MA-based Open Matters helps boards of directors and corporate leaders embrace social and mobile technologies. The Company helps build detailed strategic, operating, technology and financing plans that benefit from the power of social and mobile networks to create and drive value. Its client roster includes the U.S. Army, GE Healthcare, Microsoft and Castanea Partners. For more information, log on to www.openmatters.com.
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