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Digital Transformation

Lotusphere Tuesday Keynote: Social Evolution with McKinsey, TD, and FAST Company

Michael Rodin, Senior VP in the Software Group kicked it off with a discussion with McKinsey and their recently released social business study.

  • McKinsey thinks we are in the early stages of understanding how to make knowledge works more efficient
  • Over the past 5 years, they’ve seen adoption increase
    • Includes wikis, blogs, etc.
    • Micro-blogging has already taken off
    • High tech has a high usage of social technology adoption
    • But other industries are already adopting it
    • It is a bottoms up technology. Have to start with a hypothesis of where to apply social technology.  That said, you can often be surprised about what and where you can benefit
    • McKinsey sees a great variety of tools being used.
      • Common scenarios include expertise finding, speed time to market for new product, and better customer touchpoints.
      • There is a connection between the social enterprise and auditing
      • Increasingly seeing the ability to turn communications into content.  Social tools do a better job of capturing the conversation and turning it into knowledge
        • In essence, you see social networks turning into a knowledge institution

Great Quote: No longer does a departing employees network drive get wiped. Instead, the knowledge is captured in the social network instead of the drive.

Great Quote: this is not a fire and forget type of thing. It takes some effort and attention.

TD Bank

Wendy Arnott, Vice President of social media and communications use IBM Connections and established a social medial team.  Their key focus in the implementation included:

  1. Align with core values
  2. Deliver real business outcomes
  3. Deal with risk head on

Example: Used the tool to open a discussion on whether or not to open on Sundays.   This discussion eventually led to them opening on Sundays.

Example: A customer service rep in a small town shared an idea to migrate a paper based process to an online process. The idea was supported by hundreds of employees and hit the radar for business executives and is not in process. It’s expected to be the single biggest productivity gain in 2012

Example: Launched a TD Mobile Banking application. They used the social network to gather feedback on the application


You should believe in the value and not in the problem. TD’s implementation team’s approach was to listen to the fears and risks.  By listening, they were able to understand, target, and address the risks. This changed the mindset from that of risk to opportunity.

Five practical best practices that made TD’s project a success

  1. Leadership commitment is crucial. The entire TD senior team was on board
  2. You need a dedicated social business team
  3. You need great partnerships. Things don’t just happen.  Legal, compliance, HR, Marketing, and IT need to be on board.
  4. Get into the weeds with some business teams and then showcase the success
  5. Engage the employees. They can advocate on a larger scale more quickly. They created a Connections Genius team


  1. Single Sign On.  They had to solve this by implementing business process changes and new technology
  2. Content integration.  It helped TD identify content and content search. They are using Google Search Appliance to help unify IBM Connections and Microsoft SharePoint
  3. Mobile is important. It started out not in scope but soon made it into the project given the demand.

TD took a phased approach and rolled out a small pilot then rolled out to 50,000. They are now rolling out to the US.  After each launch, they stopped and reviewed progress and best practices.  What they found was that they exceeded expected volumes by a factor of 7.

Bill Taylor, Co-founder and editor of FAST Company

We are living today through the age of disruption. We can’t do really big things anymore.   The only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special. They are original. They stand for more than just providing service.  The new logic is that the SMART take from the strong.  They aspire to redefine the competition by embracing one of a kind ideas. That’s the strategic promise of social business.

In order for that to happen, you have to deliver on a promise of passion.  You have to become the “most”. e.g. the most passionate, the best customer service, the most discounts, etc.

Quote: The middle of the road has become the road to nowhere

Example, the Henry Ford Health System is the big downtown urban hospital. It has become one of the crown jewels of American Medicine.  The real story is 15 minutes out of town in their new facility. They took the chance to redefine what a 21st century hospital.  It’s set on 160 acres of wetlands and woodlands. It looks like a resort.

  • Checkin to your room via the internet
  • Walk into the atrium and are greeted by a concierge
  • It has shops, markets etc.
  •  The food is to die for. They have a million dollar business delivering hospital food to business meetings
  • They recruited a senior VP from the Ritz Carlton to design the experience
  • The result is a business home run because of the unconventional approach but it uses the same payment and reimbursements as other hospitals.
    • Doctors and nurses line up to work there

Quote: It’s not what keeps you up at night. It’s what gets you up in the morning.

Success today is about so much more than features, cost, and pure economic value. It’s about passion and identity.  A strongly felt culture is what makes your connections powerful.

Take USAA. They receive awards for customer service, technology innovation, etc.   The reason they are so successful is because they think about how to serve their customers.  They have 13,000 customer service reps.  The power starts with the 10 weeks of training.

  • The training starts with a deployment like letter. Terse.
  • The first meal is MRE’s
  • They are issued a back pack like those issued to soldiers.  Trainees carry it with them
  • Every day ends with letters from soldiers to their families
  • This provides the understanding necessary to serve active and retired soldiers

How do you create the cultural platform and shared bonds?  Customers sense your culture immediately.

Case Study: John Flubog Fluevog (corrected thanks to LB in comments), shoe designer.  It’s a passion brand.  He sent out an invitation on his web site and using some simple web templates, solicited customer designs.  It’s created thousands of sketches.  Every quarter he produces a customer designed shoe.  Five of his best selling shoes come from customer designs.

Quote: John calls it not Open Source Software but Open Source Footwear

Thoughts on “Lotusphere Tuesday Keynote: Social Evolution with McKinsey, TD, and FAST Company”

  1. Michael, your tag = Fast Compay – please correct. Another great quote that Bill Taylor used to close his presentation was “The question is… Is your company learning as fast as the world is changing?”

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Michael Porter

Mike Porter leads the Strategic Advisors team for Perficient. He has more than 21 years of experience helping organizations with technology and digital transformation, specifically around solving business problems related to CRM and data.

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