A small, but very significant fact.

The art of perfecting a business is not in changing the way the entire process functions, but to understand how small functions create bit changes across the enterprise.

Case example: when I was at Verizon, one of my success stories was understanding how a very simple task was currently being implemented thousands of times per day by over 3500 workers. With some technical understanding and business application, I managed to shave off a few minutes from the process.

Taking 3500 workers X 3 minutes X 10 times a day resulted in 1750 hours PER DAY being saved.
At a rough hourly cost of $2o per hour, it saved $35k a day (or several millions dollars a year)

Needless to say, I received a promotion.

I continued to work on special projects for a few years trying to implement simple changes with big effects. Yet the biggest challenge was ALWAYS understanding.

Most people don’t connect the dots. They don’t see a five minute delay in the mail room causing a ripple effect that causes customer issues or stock problems.

In a nutshell: In social media, the ripple effect is very hard for many professionals to see.

So I’ll highlight a very significant point that I’ve seen in other surveys: “WorkPlace Media found that in May 2009, 78% of US at-work Internet users spent less than a half hour a day on social networking sites while at work, though 4% did admit to keeping the sites open all day.”

So imagine this at the enterprise: 4% of your employees admit to keeping the sites open all day.

If you wanted to be a mean, number oriented grinch you could send a cease and desist notice to everyone or have your IT department erect a corporate firewall to block the usage….

or if you think positive: you can engage the 4% of your employees to engage on your behalf. You can account for the love and interest they have in these technical tools and social channels to create supporters within your employee group and get some real business results:

  • speed internal communications
  • speed product development time
  • reduce delay in project hand-off
  • maximize talent sets, re-allocate personnel
  • interact with consumers
  • interact with employees, human resources, boards of directors
  • manage and engage conversations, rather than silence them
  • Why do I bring this up?

Remember that multi-million dollar cost savings I spoke about?
My boss thought I was nuts. When I first brought it up they said “don’t worry about it, it isn’t part of your job.”

To make the project a reality, I created the entire code base and gained peer support during my coffee breaks and lunches. It took me a month to self-train myself on some very basic coding requirements and caused nearly a two months of delay… costing the company over half a million dollars in lost savings.

I hope that this communicates my main point: turning a blind eye to these changes in communication and social behavior is costing many companies huge dollars in terms of both lost savings and lost potential revenue.

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