Friday, June 27, 2014

Creating a social organisation: Everyone is a salesperson

Importance of social media in your business growth and message communication is growing as 73% of total internet population is using social media. According to 2013 report, among the fortune 500 companies, 77% are on twitter and 70% on facebook

So what it takes for a small company or startups to build a social organisation with a shoestring budget? According to forbes, social media strategies fail due to these reasons:

1. Values Don’t Match
2. Not consistent
3. Misunderstanding How Social Media Really Works
4. Not Providing Anything Different
5. Shouting, Not Listening
6. Lack of Monitoring and Measuring

In most organisations, social media is a different team and even employees (internal stakeholders) of the organisation are not aware of the social media goals of the company. so where does it leave a small company or a startup, who has less or no money to spend on social media compared to their larger counterparts?

Every company, big and small, train their employees in their technical and behavioral skills but not on social media skills. If small companies train their employees on social media skills and skill them to be ambassadors and salesperson on social media instead of just being a technical or HR or operation executive. In most of the organisations, social media is still discouraged as social media is a relatively new phenomena and companies are taking baby steps to embrace it.

Instead of a hired team for social media, if entire company becomes its ambassadors of its social media goals then it will have a more consistent voice and more company value and goal driven.

Startup Nation: Story of Israel’s Entrepreneurial and Innovative Spirit

This post is contributed by Vivek Madathil

Startup Nation” by Dan Senor and Paul Singer is an incredible book. It is very well written and explains the story of Israel’s success as a very entrepreneurial and innovative nation. The author traces the key factors contributing to the success of Israel as a nation that embraces culture of innovation.

start-up nation lazyandsmart - Entrepreneurship innovation
It is very interesting to read that even in 2008, when the world was hit by global recession, Israel’s entrepreneurial economy was hardly hit. In 2006, when Israel entered into a war with Syria, investments to country’s start-up economy actual boomed!. More global companies of Israel are listed in NASDAQ than India or China. More global capital is going to Israel on a per capita basis than United States.

The author explains many factors that leads to this success. While all the factors are difficult to obtain mention in a short blog, certain factors definitely demands detailed mention.

As a national policy, Israel mandates military service to its citizens. Hence, very early in their age, the youngsters get leadership training the hard way – serving in the battlefields, fighting within constraints for survival. This builds risk taking, entrepreneurial skills required for survival as a small firm in a competing economy. Youngsters learn to innovate within the constraints for their survival. Rarely, other nations build such innovative and entrepreneurial spirit in their citizens. Israel’s industry absorbs citizens who finish the military training and revector them to leadership or managerial roles in entrepreneurial ventures.

The nation’s policy of immigration is poised towards attracting talent required to seed new entrepreneurial ventures.  

Israel’s culture and values breed innovation and entrepreneurial spirit. The kids are encouraged to question rather than oblige to everything. For an entrepreneur, this is a mandatory skill. People, who are restless and unsatisfied with the status-quo, leave their cushy jobs and start entrepreneurial ventures. Every technology is tinkered, played with and customized by the kids during their growing up years. This breeds the culture of innovation within the younger generation.

Another important aspect is the ability to take quick decision and plunge into the world of entrepreneurial journey overnight. This is a very important skill for entrepreneur. While many might find this skill as irrational, the ability to spot opportunities and quickly turn into action to convert an innovative idea to a viable business opportunity is very critical.
It is very interesting to notice that the Governmental policies were not suited to encourage innovation in Israel’s initial years. However, the rise of Netanyahu as the person in charge of Finance in early 2000s, significantly helped the nation to relook at its economic policies and help bring in pro market reforms that aids in innovation and entrepreneurship. The Government also has ensures that R&D funding is used very effectively to promote entrepreneurship.

Overall, the book is a good read, and would recommend it for readers who want to explore Israel’s journey as a start-up nation. 

Design thinking at work (Book summary)

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