There is no second opinion on the fact that most corporations have taken a serious note of the existence of social networking sites and are keen to explore what it means to them and for their businesses. Everyone agrees that it is a new ball game and no one really is an authority. Everyone is learning.
- Organized businesses or corporates are focused on profits, market capitalization and shareholder wealth creation. They have short-term and long-term targets and metrics that revolve around these parameters. Participants on social networks have no such goals. These groups revolve around, common interests and stuff that excites them. This stuff could be anything from Katrina Kaif to coffee to cricket to corruption or cancer.
- Organized businesses or corporates are structured entities. When you join a corporate house, you are fitted into an organizational structure with clearly defined roles and KPIs handed down that you need to meet in a pre-determined time frame. You can create a career progression and a development path along with the HR and walk that path based on merits of your performance.
- Social networks are different. Participation is voluntary. Each participant has a very different goal and each individual can publish his or her motives and goals to garner support for the cause. People gather around the cause based on how well it emotes with them and the success is primarily a function of how many people believe in it and are willing to participate in an action needed to take the cause to its logical end. A case in point is the India Against Corruption drive.
- In a corporate house, while there is a debate around ideas, once a decision is made, the enterprise collectively approaches to meet the goals even if a few key individuals were initially against it. The enterprise is supreme. On the social network, no such rule is binding on participants of the social groups. People will walk away from a movement as quickly they walked in with support. All of this could happen in a flash and without a warning.
- Enterprises work on streamlining people, processes and systems into a cohesive and well-oiled machine to meet specific targets. Behind every successful delivery in the corporate house, there stands a well-oiled machine.