Two articles piqued my interest last week – David Brooks’s New York Times op-ed and Gartner’s warning about social business networks. When I connected the two articles, I suddenly concluded that businesses I encounter here in America are really beginning to suffer from “short-termitis!”
Citing American companies, education and government, Brooks’s op-ed Carpe Diem Nation, asserts that instead of sacrificing the present for the sake of the future like our founding fathers, pioneers that traveled west, each generation of immigrants, we are now sacrificing the future for the sake of the present. One example: R& D spending; between 1999 and 2006 U.S. companies only spent 3 percent compared to South Korean companies 58 percent, Finnish companies 28 percent and German companies 11 percent respectively.
Information technology research and advisory company Gartner predicts that 80% of social business efforts will not achieve intended benefits until 2016. Gartner defines social business as more than just using social media platforms to get closer to customers. They believe social business is all about the communication platforms utilized both externally and internally to improve an organization’s overall business functions. The end game according to Gartner is all about getting everyone (customers, management, employees and business partners) speaking a common language, thus collaborating. Gartner predicts that by 2016 and beyond, 50 percent of large organizations will have internal Facebook-like social networks that will be as essential/effective as email and telephones.
When I reflected on the two articles I immediately thought about the findings of an IBM survey I read in December 2012. Among 1,700 CMO’s from 64 countries only 16% were actively utilizing social media platforms; 57% indicated that they will be there in three to five years; 71% admitted they felt unprepared for the challenges of today’s business environment. My immediate reaction when I read these survey results was: “Why are they waiting?” Then I realized that everyone is just focused on the short-term, not willing to change or invest the time and dollars essential for the future. I emphatically label this “short-termitis!” What are some of the classic corrosive signs of “short-termitis?”
· Silos! Silos! Silos!
· “That is not how we do things around here.”
· An absence of experimentation!
· “What is the ROI on social media?”
· “Twitter is for kids. I use email.”
· “We do not have money in our budgets right now.”
Apologies to my fans: I have been on my soapbox advocating that it is time to transform and invest in your future ever since I first posted A Lesson From Charlie back on September 30th, 2009. “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, not the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
Future winners, it is time to banish “short-termitis” within the walls of your organization! It is time to adapt! The future is here!