Innovate or die

If you're not innovating, you're dying. Death may be slow, and take a few years, but it will come.

Don't take my word for it, or the findings of the Intranet 2.0 Global study, take management guru Peter Drucker's word, or any of the leading business gurus of the last century. Those that don't take innovation seriously are cast aside or merged into others. Most of the companies on S&P 500 during the 1960s don't exist anymore (they're assets & intellectual property gobbled up long ago by another, bigger, faster competitor).

Here are some social media numbers, not in the Intranet 2.0 Global study to consider:

  • About 90% of adults under the age of 40 are on Facebook (higher in Canada & Northern Europe, a little lower in the US)
  • 39% of employees under the age of 25 would consider leaving their job if their company banned tools such as Facebook

How can a company survive without attracting and keeping the next generation of employees? How can a company ignore the 2.0 revolution -- a revolution that has permanently changed the Internet, which permanently changed business as we know it -- while the competition embraces it? According to the Intranet 2.0 Global study about 50% of organizations have deployed social media (blogs, wikis, social networking) on the corporate intranet. Those that have not, are missing out on the party.

The biggest catalyst for innovation is the c-level suite. And the biggest barrier to innovation is the c-level suite. The Intranet 2.0 Global Study found that the biggest barrier blocking the adoption of social media for employees is the "lack of executive support." The arms of executives are needed to fully embrace the 2.0 revolution.

There's no better way to get an executive's attention by saying "the competition is doing it and if we don't we risk losing out." Point to some of the case study examples I've documented on this site (e.g. Sabre, BT, Placemaking, Janssen-Cilag and others) as proof, and cross-reference those against the adoption rates and findings in the study.

I wrote that "an organization without a 2.0 strategy risks being left behind, or outright failure (though death may be slow)." One consultant responded that I was using "scare tactics" when writing about the necessity of 2.0 and social media. Are Peter Drucker's words "scare tactics"? Warren Buffett has echoed these same sentiments; as do employees who want to work for progressive and innovative organizations, and expect 2.0 environments from employers of choice.

The question is not whether or not an intranet or 2.0 is important to companies, the question is, is your company part of the revolution or being left behind?

Additional Reading

Intranet 2.0 Becomes MandatoryIntranet 2.0: The investment vs satisfaction corollary