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Impact of the snow on the Social Business

Earlier in the year I wrote about the impact of disrupted travel caused by Iceland’s volcano and the follow on impact on innovation in the enterprise. With the UK and much of Europe turned into an iceland and air travel freezing to a halt (at least here near Heathrow), with treacherous roads and the wrong snow on the railway tracks, it’s worth revisiting this and looking at how this will impact the drive to create a social business powered economy.
Here’s what I wrote back in clement April as key topics:
  • Enterprise social network and related software – online meetings, video conferencing and TelePresence used to overcome the lack of flights.
  • Work based networks connect up stranded employees -shows importance of software in crisis management
  • Work based networks connect up stranded employees – self help networks formed
  • Up to date info and help/discussion for stranded employees – shows how enterprise social networks overcomes issue of swamped out call centres and ‘your call is important to us’ situations
  • Mustering / accounting for people – networks can account for people (possible geo location additions)

To the snow we might add self help information, say #uksnow which graphically shows where the snow is falling and in what quantity and depth. Plus the miserable communications from the guys who run Heathrow, BAA – pants, guys pants and the potential for Twitter to overcome at least deal a bit better with some of their inadequacies.

But more importantly, I think this cold spell is going to spell out the advantages of being a social business now – the early and fuller adopters will win out here. As McKinsey have shown, those making the most investments and taking the strongest initiatives are showing the highest gains: The rise of the networked enterprise: Web 2.0 finds its payday. These companies are networked up – they don’t need all their teams sitting in the same offices to be productive and those both in and out the office can connect, share, exchange data, ideas, images, video etc etc just as well as they can in the office. For those companies that insist that ‘bums on seats’ means people doing work, my oh my how they will be suffering if their workforce can’t get in.

So in sum, I can see this cold weather stimulating the drive to the social business – it simply makes good business sense, what ever the weather.

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