The Future: Social Enterprise


In my last post The Big Gap I addressed the global compensation culture and warned about the dangers of self-enriching executives. As the workplace continues to morph in the new Covid era, I believe occupants of corner offices should be more concerned about building social enterprises for long-term sustainable growth.

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As the number of people fully vaccinated increase (approximately 47.1% of the U.S. population (source: NPR Health News as of the July 4th weekend), more white-collar workers are gearing up to return to their offices. Thanks to the pandemic technology transformation of communication tools resulting from people working remotely, work place experts project businesses will create hybrid models in which workers will split their time between their office and home. A major leadership challenge for the C-suite – tech or leadership or both?

Technology is a given, especially with customers. One of my favorite resources for a better understanding the utilization of the digital world by corporations is the CMO Survey, a group created back in 2008 by Duke’s Fuqua school of business. In their latest survey released back in February, no surprise 73.8% of the respondents indicated they enhanced their digital marketing interfaces. Only 43.3% relied on data-based execution. Branding and companies taking a stand on social issues, especially COVID-19 and racial equality ranked high by a majority of the respondents, but varied by industry; B2C products being the highest at 85%. In regards to communications, 65.3% reported changes with approximately one half (48.7%) of the respondents indicating the changes were successful in contributing to their company’s overall performance. 53.4 % of the companies indicated there was a change in training, yet moving forward only 20.4% were going to spend money on training geared towards “Big Data”. I believe if companies are going to implement a hybrid workplace model, they are going to have to make the investment to train their people a priority on how best to navigate their digital toolbox to communicate internally and externally to build a social enterprise for long-term sustainable growth. The graphic below details the building blocks of a social enterprise – the future!

The Social Enterprise

Key words that appear in the first three building blocks in the above graphic: connect, engage and collaboration are derivatives of effective communications. The hybrid workplace will combine high tech remote working communications with low tech face to face coffee break room interactions. C-suite leaders should not expect communications will flow smoothly after the disruption created by the pandemic in their organizations. They will need to help establish the communication boundaries/guidelines needed to build a social enterprise, thus allocate money and resources to adapt to a hybrid work culture.

Occupants of the C-suite, are you prepared to make the changes needed to build long-term sustainable growth in the new COVID era?

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