I’m at the Salesforce.com Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco this week. There are 45,000 registrants from around the world here to learn more about the Customer Relationship Management program and related technologies. The theme for this year’s conference is the “Social Enterprise.”
The focus is on how organizations are becoming more connected — with customers, with employees, with partners — and using that connection to improve performance and innovation. There is a lot of discussion about how social media has or will change business. As Marc Benioff, Salesforce.com CEO, asked in his keynote: “Why do we know more about the friends of our friends on Facebook than we know about our customers?”
Most of the vendors here are pushing technologies to automate sales, marketing, manufacturing, etc. and to integrate pieces of data about our customers. All of this discussion has me wondering if you can have a truly “Social Enterprise” without SOCIAL STYLE. We may know all about a person’s hobbies, interests, past work experiences, etc., but if we don’t know how he or she makes decisions and prefers to use time, will we be able to build rapport? Isn’t our ability to be Versatile and create a productive relationship with an individual at least as important as knowing where they attended college or that they follow Bill Gates on Twitter?
But for those of us with SOCIAL STYLE knowledge, we know the benefits it brings on a daily balance. Yet we are faced with the need to evaluate a person’s behavior and Style in an increasingly virtual world. Pace of speech and use of gestures aren’t apparent in a tweet or e-mail.
The Social Enterprise makes for a good event theme and certainly offers interesting benefits. But don’t forget that every enterprise is made up of individuals each with their own Style and behavioral preferences.