The moon is full and foreboding, but somehow there are no stars in the sky. Recently, the city has been ravaged by a new hybrid creature, wildly and publicly howling to all corners of the community. As you walk through the trees, the shadows reach for you and each rustle of the leaves and each scrape of a branch chases shivers up the length of your spine.
All at once you feel it. It’s not a sound or a physical itch, but all of a sudden you know you’re being followed. You start to walk faster, but you know that won’t help. Whatever is behind you is gaining ground and nothing is going to stop it. You start to run. You start to sprint.
At the last moment you turn to fight, but the only thing you see are fur and teeth and the pain begins. It’s over before it begins and now all that’s left is one thing…
It all starts with the bite. Either your customers start to demand that you act towards them a different way, you see your competitors take strides that pull them away from you, or maybe you simply notice the change in the air and get the bite naturally. However it comes about, the bite creeps into your blood and you know the change towards Social Business is inevitable.
Your company blood starts to boil and you wait for the transformation to start. You’re not quite sure what to expect and that can be scary, but luckily others have gone through the change and we can look to them to see how to come out on the other side alive and stronger than ever. There are four phases of the adoption transformation process internally and you need to be ready for all of them.
Phase 1: Early Adoption
The Early Adoption Phase is characterized by it’s delicacy and fragility. The community internally in support of the Social Business transformation may be there, but it’s small and unfunded. There are no tools in place and everything is laid out before you. Your goals during this phase of the process are simply to establish clear goals. identify and engage executive champions, define the internal tone of leadership, align all Social Business goals with established business goals, and begin testing platforms, strategies and software. This is also the phase where you need to lay out clear policies for the protection of both the company AND the employees.
Phase 2: Critical Adoption
The Critical Adoption Phase is simply the phase where the werewolf poison takes hold. Past this stage there are no remedies or antidotes that can cure you (as if you wanted to be cured). Most studies say you reach critical adoption on or around the 20% of employees mark and I feel that’s pretty accurate, but all the steps from phase one must still be in place for that 20% for act within and stand behind. You should be heavily looking externally at key influencers in your field, setting up and optimizing social profiles and initializing a content strategy framework during this phase as well.
Phase 3: Overall Adoption
At this point you’re well on your way to being a WereBusiness. The Overall, or Mainstream, Adoption Phase may take week or months to fully take hold. It’s been known to take even longer in some groups, because getting up to 80% adoption and training takes time. Because of this, this phase is defined by continued internal training, implementation of new tools and platforms company-wide and external attempts at raising up and promoting fans via social media. Most times, this phase is when social media exclusive campaigns will being to pop up and social responses will become second-nature to those who have been trained and the early adopters.
Phase 4: Sustained Change
By this phase, you’re completely change and people may not even recognize you compared to who you were before the bite. You’ve established internal communities using cemented tools and processes created during the first two phases. Most of them won’t need micromanagement and will self-sustain their efforts in the social spaces, bringing new advancements to their team leaders and exploring new avenues of growth on their own. At this point, your focus will be on sustained nurturing and on-boarding to make sure the new body you’ve created stays healthy and thriving.
As you howl at the moon you realize this new body is far from a curse. You’re swifter and stronger than you were before, looking for new blood and ways to feed your bottom line. The places that used to seem dark and scary to you are no longer threats, but opportunities to find things you never knew were available to you earlier.
You’re fast and scary to those around you, but because you were prepared for the transformation, this new skin feels natural and you’re ready for what the future holds.
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