First, it’s been way too long. I have no defense, no excuse. I do have reasons, but nonetheless going for 6 weeks without a new post to the blog is professionally unacceptable. Yes, I completely understand that it’s not as if people are waiting with baited breath, reaching out to me and asking for a new post. “Mike, what happened to you? Are you still alive???” And I realize, with my updates to Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook, it’s not hard to find signs of life across my Social Graph. But nonetheless, as I say to others, it’s important to update a blog at least once a week, if nothing else for the search engines. However, the last 6 weeks have been a harrowing experience for me personally – physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Really the last 6 months since Zach left for Afghanistan and Diane and I decided to sell our house.

Basement work - SURPRISE!

Basement work – SURPRISE!

But onto business:

First, I’m so excited about a new client I’m starting to work with. It’s a case that affirms many of the things I’ve been saying over the past several years. The CEO has been quietly blogging, more informally, personally, but with an eye towards business implications, perhaps more than anything, just trying to learn about blogging. And as a result, when I offered to do a Boot Camp for his leadership team, not only did he immediately seize the opportunity, but when we actually did the Boot Camp, he set the table perfectly, and wrapped it up perfectly. Net net, we’re now doing a 6-month strategy development and enterprise education program that will accomplish many of the existing organizational business goals, including these Top 10:

  1. Create new ways to access prospective insureds
  2. Make our Web properties more content rich, changing, and interactive
  3. Brand our expertise in the markets we compete
  4. Growing from infancy, infuse Social Tech principles into the marketing and account management staff
  5. Establish a Social Tech Model with a few clients, see significant gains in a few spots, and then replicate that model with others
  6. Develop competitive advantage from a bizdev perspective
  7. As a company, adopt Social Tech into the culture and improve organizational unity
  8. Understand and then leverage Revenue on Demand
  9.  Continue to advance the recruitment and retention of “A” candidates from within and without the insurance industry
  10. Find ways to increase INTERNAL productivity, creativity, satisfaction, and organizational velocity

I’ll say it again. Enterprise Social Technologies will be a game-changer going forward. Like anything else in business, real and meaningful adaptation and change starts at the top. Executives that are using Social WITH THEIR OWN HANDS stand the best chance of understanding it, leading with it, and helping their teams strategize and execute around it. It’s NOT just fun and games. And there’s really no substitute for getting in a room together with someone who knows the real-deal and who can facilitate not only education, but DISCUSSION. THAT is the track insurance executive need to run on. I haven’t seen anything else work.

JiveNYC13 - Photo by @Brennels

JiveNYC13 – Photo by @Brennels

Item #2. People often ask me, “Mike, what’s the next big thing?” I mentioned this a few posts back. Jive Software. Internal Social Networks. This is one of the things that’s next. Oh, and Sharepoint is NOT it. I heard it put this way. Jive is the house. Sharepoint is the garage. Nuf said. I attended a Jive party in NYC a couple weeks ago. (See the pictures here.) #Worthit! Jive invited 5 clients to share their comments about Jive to a small group of invited guests at a cool but modest hotel in the East Village. Tony, the Jive CEO, asked the panelists a few obvious questions for the benefit of people in the audience seeking to learn more.

I gotta tell ya, I loved it on SO many levels. Yes, as is my inclination, I sat up front and recorded some of the comments with my Droid. I can’t post them publicly but I was given permission to share them selectively and privately. What caught my attention was the two insurance and financial companies on the panel. I’ll just share one anonymous comment from a global financial institution based in Germany.

Paraphrasing: “The Jive installation was the most satisfying and rewarding project of my 20-year career so far. We have saved a tremendous amount of money, increased productivity, and generated nothing but positive feedback across the organization…”

Question: Have you ever heard that kind of comment about Sharepoint? Come on. Get real. I never had. In fact, just the opposite.

Any comments? Helpful info? Any other Social Tech goals you’d add to your list? Do you want to see the Jive videos? Might be good to share with your boss.

Later today or tomorrow: A new post all about VIDEO… with a very special offer for a few people that are paying attention and act quickly.