As someone who worked in cyber security with the DoD for 9+ years I’ve become very experienced in the concepts of teaching change, explaining the importance of collaboration and managing risk vs reward projects and policies. Much like cyber security, social business is a disruptive trend that is forcing businesses and leaders to rethink and change how they work.
One of the biggest surprises I found managing cyber security teams was that the biggest threat to companies security isn’t the hackers in Asia or the kids with pink hair that you see cast on tv as hackers, it’s the employee. Yes “Insider Threats” as coined by those in the security industry are the biggest problems ranging from clicking on an email they shouldn’t, accidently posting company intellectual property online or in the extreme cases employees selling company secrets to the competition. The link to social business is scary as most social business deployments fail not because of the software or the technology rather the people, communication and culture aren’t designed to be social.
I believe security is making giant leaps in adoption and leadership buy-in while also embracing innovations like cloud and mobile to now be part of what is implemented rather than an after-thought, like it was when I was working in the industry. What can we learn from cyber security deployments of the past that will increase the speed to adoption for Social Business?
6 lessons learned from cyber security deployments of the past and their link to social business of today!
- Challenge and Disrupt Don’t Blow Up!
- Cyber policies that eliminated the use of USB ports actually created more security issues because the work around users created to get their jobs done were less secure with less company visibility.
- Too often leaders fight change because they assume it’s an all or nothing solution. Social Business solutions must be architected to include digital natives as well as digitally unplugged.
- Listen and Train Your People!
- Cyber implementations often required new processes or procedures to be taken which would only be successful if training was provided.
- Social Business philosophies do require culture change which means hiring and firing for culture fit but there must also be an investment in training of new skill sets which requires leaders to listen and understand what path is best for each employee.
- Agile Long Term Goals with Short Term Wins
- Cyber initiatives that were deployed with all functions on often broke more than it helped forcing companies to back out completely rather than slowly deploying and customizing each function creating a path towards a fully secured company.
- Social Business doesn’t have an easy button but the long term goals of increasing speed to innovation and productivity often have leaders focused on those goals but expecting results immediately. Create and Align Social Business strategies to meet these goals but make sure to document and promote short term wins along the way providing you the support and leadership needed to meet those business goals.
- Company Initiative not just one Department
- Cyber departments were often looked at as the bad guys but the policies and procedures they were implementing were in the best interest of the company not just the security department.
- Social Business today is stuck somewhere between Marketing, Sales, HR, Public Relations and Employee Advocacy. For social business to be successful it must be a company goal which means eliminating silos and leadership ego’s allowing for a cross department and cross functional team initiative.
- Engaged not Reactive
- Cyber for a long time was thought of as a defensive solution but by only reacting to attacks there was no way to get ahead and prevent the attack from happening in the first place!
- Social Business solutions are often focused on fixing a known problem rather than creating new experiences. This way of thinking although creates quick/small wins will never lead to a solution that embraces change or empowers the future of innovation.
- Invest in it because you know its Valuable not just think it is?
- Cyber deployments often took 2+ years to implement and by that time the hackers were using new tactics rendering that solution almost useless.
- Social Business Technologies require change and collaboration across multiple departments therefore managers must be able to hire for new skill sets and bring in new agencies to increase the speed of deployment. This also requires changes to be made on how managers are rewarded and how leaders track success.
Innovation isn’t dependent on a company being a social business, innovation happens when a company creates a philosophy that embraces the power of social, mobile, analytics, cloud and security while adopting the technology of the future. We must look at solutions like cyber security that require philosophy style changes, as case studies that have trends and patterns we can learn from, while also understanding the importance of creating new community experiences by challenging every traditional way of thinking imaginable!