A month or so ago, The Economist Intelligence Unit (@TheEIU) released a list of the top 25 Social Business Leaders, a process in which I had the great pleasure of being involved as a member of a special advisory board. It has been a lot of fun to watch the response to this list, especially to read all the heartfelt praise for these deserving leaders.
Around the same time I was serving on their advisory board, I had the chance to speak to Frieda Klotz (@FriedaKlotz), Deputy Editor at The Economist Intelligence Unit, about some of the ideas contained in our best-selling book, The Social Employee (McGraw-Hill, 2013).
The full text of our conversation can be found over at The Economist. In looking it over, here is a point about Millennials you may find interesting:
[Executives] need to start leading by example and to start a reverse mentoring process. That is where executives learn the skill-sets of their employees and use their employees to help them figure out social technologies. They’re going to rely more and more on Millennials, and as the workplace changes Millennials will play a more active part.
Much continues to be written about the Millennial generation, which is entering the workforce in growing numbers—and which will account for over half of the workforce by 2020. While today the highest levels of businesses are largely managed by the soon-to-be-retiring Baby Boomers and older Gen-Xers, the Millennials are the group who will truly be taking the reigns of social business in the coming years.
In many ways, social business was designed for this group, the first generation of digital natives to walk the planet. But what is interesting about Millennials is that, although for the most part they didn’t occupy the management-level jobs usually associated with driving organizational change, their influence was nevertheless massive in helping to define what it means to “go social.” Simply put, they have had opportunities to make their voices heard that no other generation has, and they have used it. They may lack the experience, but they understand how to make things happen.
With that in mind, it will be interesting to see what the coming years will bring as this generational transition gets further along, especially as more members of the incoming generation step into leadership roles.
What do you think the future holds for the @SocialEmployee Revolution?
In The Social Employee, we go behind the scenes with several leading brands—such as IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo—pulling the lid off the inspiring social business success stories that have propelled these companies into the 21st century. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
“Great brands have always started on the inside, but why are companies taking so long to leverage the great opportunities offered by internal social media? . . . The Social Employee lifts the lid on this potential and provides guidance for businesses everywhere.” —JEZ FRAMPTON, Global Chairman and CEO, Interbrand
The Social Employee offers an unparalleled behind-the-scenes look at the social business success stories of some of the biggest brand names in the business world, including IBM, AT&T, Dell, Adobe, Southwest Airlines, Cisco, Acxiom, and Domo. These cutting-edge brands have all come to the same realization: the path to social business lies through empowering the social employee.
The brands that leverage their employee base in order to engage customers and prospects through social media are the ones destined to win the marketing wars. This book not only details the astronomical rise of the social employee, but also outlines the innovative methods that leading companies have employed to foster cultures of enthusiastic and engaged workers.
AFTERWORD by Kevin Randall, Vice President of Brand Strategy & Research at
Movéo Integrated Branding, and journalist for The Economist and Fast Company