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Change is a constant feature in our lives. In both the professional and private sphere, it’s important to be able to adapt, welcome new things, make mistakes, and learn from them. I always ask myself the question: Why is change so important for us and why do we need change? I can’t and wouldn’t want to attempt to answer this question in its entirety, as there are so many facets that one could write entire volumes of books on the subject. Instead, I will focus solely on the topic of business culture.

Let’s begin by saying that cultural development in general – and a business’s cultural development in particular – is never complete. Anyone who entertains the idea that the process of change can be complete and thus believes it to be so is setting themselves up for failure. Change is a living process that never ends. It’s like music – music is never simply “done;” it continues to evolve, as it should, in various directions. It’s important to keep one eye on the future as we carry out our daily work in order to anticipate risks, develop measures to counter these risks, and introduce these measures as early as possible. This may sound like an impossible task – and I admit it’s a very difficult one – but it nevertheless applies, to a greater or lesser extent, to each and every one of us.

So let’s return to the initial question. I want to try to answer this question by introducing you to the hugely inspiring book “Who moved my cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson. This allegorical tale focuses on four characters and their different ways of dealing with change. Sniff and Scurry are two mice who set off to hunt for cheese together after discovering that Cheese Station C has run out. They were prepared for this task as they had already noticed the dwindling supplies and knew that they would inevitably have to find more cheese one day. The other two characters are Hem and Haw – two little people who are very surprised when they find Cheese Station C empty. Initially, Hem and Haw are both angry and annoyed. Even in this desperate situation, Hem stubbornly dismisses Haw’s suggestion to go in search of new cheese. He is too firmly stuck in his routine and is scared of the unknown. Meanwhile, Haw decides to take his chances and enters the maze to find new cheese. Is he successful? What happens to Hem?! You can find out by reading the book or watching the film: Who moved my Cheese The Movie by Dr Spencer Johnson.


The story of your company features far more than four characters – and each one of them is likely to respond to change in a different way. There are people like Haw, who are afraid of change initially but are likely to come around once they’ve had time to think and understand why it’s necessary. But you will also have characters like Hem, who are not willing to change at all. These people require even more time and attention. Thankfully, there will also be people like Sniff and Scurry, who are always ready and willing to change. Now it’s up to you: Do you understand the need for change? Do you know your organization and all its various stakeholders? Are you aware that the change management process can take months, years or even decades? And most importantly: Do you and the people in your organization accept the fact that change is necessary for personal development? If so, you’re on the right track – keep it up!


About the author

Patrick graduated with a master’s degree in business informatics at the beginning of 2013 and then spent a half-year-long stint working as a social business consultant at a large digital solutions agency in the UK. He has returned to Berlin to strengthen the Pokeshot///SMZ team as a Junior Consultant for Social Business Strategy.


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If you want to be successful in your business you have to create the right mindset in terms of change. But how is it possible to win when the only certainly is change?! It is quite difficult to answer but it is reality. A couple of weeks ago I read the book “Velocity” by Ajad Ahmez and Stefan Orlander. It inspired me because it is about the perspective on a world gone digital and more social. The things and the whole world have changed in the last years so have the employees, customers and partners. They have become more and more social – in their private life as well as in their working life. They obviously know what Facebook, Google and Wikipedia are because they grew up and know how to use those to get the right information. But now every company has to work towards a Social Business to be well prepared in a world of CHANGE.


Within the book Ajaz & Stefan introduced “The seven laws for a world gone digital” and again more SOCIAL.


1. A Smith & Wesson beats four aces

You can be the best in your area but try to imagine you are in a saloon playing poker and have a hand of four aces. You feel safe, not beatable but suddenly someone comes into the saloon with a gun. That changes everything. He will pick up the money you will loose the game – with four aces. The gunman can be anybody – an existing competitor, a new player on the market. When you are well connected within your company and in the market it is easier for you to identify these gunman’s and pull your weapon first.


2. It is easier done than said

Get going. Then get better. You have to stop debating the perfect solution you have to start executing and create a culture away from saying through to doing. It doesn’t mean that you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. It means: Be iterative, be agile, be quick. In a Social Business it is pretty easy to generate new ideas but then you need develop things further with the tools which are given.


3. The best advertising isn’t advertising

Make meaningful connections is the motto. The aim is it to create connections to your costumers to get their loyalty. But how is it possible to get this?! “The magic is in the product, the values and the spirit of the brand”. Look at the tools of the digital world to provide your message to your customers and keep it brief by focussing on relevant benefits. One of these tools are external communities to engage your customers or your partners. They are not distracted by other brands because it is your own environment. You can share all relevant information about your products an services without loosing the focus on your brand and create a useful channel for all target groups.


4. Convenient is the enemy of right

“Beware the lollipop of mediocrity; lick it once and you’ll suck forever.” This quote of Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys hits the nail on the head. By creating structure and get stuck into detail doesn’t mean that the product is not interesting it means that you’ll spot problems before someone will notice them. Use your internal workforce and let them collaborating when you develop e.g. a new product. Set up an internal social group, discussions or even a poll. You will see there is no space for convenience. Everybody who is interested in this will participate in this discussion and is going to contribute useful content and information of what you even wouldn’t think about.


5. Respect human nature

It is not all about technology, it is more about to understand the environment and the need of the technology. Technology is a mean to make things in the social or digital world easier but also more complex. It is necessary to make things Useful, Usable, Delightful because the digital touch points to your brand are fast growing and you need to be good by providing quality and excellence over these points. And don’t forget: “at the far side of an app, a Tweet, an anything, there’s a person.” Furthermore human beings are the major element of Social Business. It doesn’t work only to give them a social tool and let them collaborate. Engage them and take your time by doing this.


6. No good joke survives a committee of six

Very often someone have to make a decision to press ahead with the business. But is the decision based on the consensus always the right decision?! It is not clear. Decision maker should listen to all options and should sometimes trust their intuition. You can’t be everybody’s and the good thing is that you have not to. It is necessary to use filters to avoid subjectivity in your decisions. By creating the right filters you depoliticize the decision-making process and send the right signals to your co-workers. This is about mindset of change, social business and a new culture in terms of decision-making. “Filters free up the people in your team to discover strengths they didn’t know they had, creating a Velocity-ready hunger for change and challenge to make the end result better.”


7. Have a purpose larger than yourself

It is essential that you love what you do. If you are not sure if you really love it then maybe you don’t. When you not love your own products or services or if you are not profoundly convinced then you won’t sell it with commitment to your costumers. Be curios, be motivated, be enthusiastic, have dreams. “It is not about ‘big ideas’ or ‘small ideas’, it’s about good ideas. If you use the technology which is give to make your dreams come true you will find yourself and find or convince others because of range of social business tools. This is what makes the difference in the world of Social Business. In this connection is only one more thing to say – The Sky is the Limit!


About the author

Patrick graduated with a master’s degree in business informatics at the beginning of 2013 and then spent a half-year-long stint working as a social business consultant at a large digital solutions agency in the UK. He has returned to Berlin to strengthen the Pokeshot///SMZ team as a Junior Consultant for Social Business Strategy.

Connect with us on facebook | twitter | LinkedIn | YouTube – we will keep you posted!