Book Review: Get Bold by Sandy Carter
"Social Business is different from social media in its breadth, impact and returns." ~Well said by Sandy Carter in the conclusion of Chapter 1.
Let me just start by saying this book is refreshing. It's refreshing in its cover design, its premise and its approach. This leads me to conclude that if I were to meet Get Bold's author Sandy Carter, IBM Vice President, Social Business Evangelism, she would be refreshing, too.
Get Bold is a manifesto of sorts - not just for large organizations but for small to midsize ones, too. Get Bold is all about taking risks and learning not just from others, but also from simply DOING. Carter lays out a framework that actually seems doable in business:
A: Align your goals and culture.
G: Gain social trust.
E: Engage through experiences.
N: "Social" network your processes. (I admit the lack of proper letter-word association bugged me here!)
D: Design for reputation and risk management!
A: Analyze your data!
Each step is well constructed, complete with not only examples from her own work within IBM but also using case studies and expert opinions from outside Big Blue. Case studies are great, and I think these help weave in ideas that any company can really use, but my favorite insights from this book were the simple statements on big ideas Carter was willing to make. She understands how complex things can really get at a place like IBM when you state you're going to "align your culture." It sounds great, but it is real work. This book prioritizes culture over strategy and, in my opinion, this is totally valid and usually overlooked. To make change, culture has to support risk-taking, cross-team functionality and putting the customer first.
She also highlights the positives of giving some control over to your clients. When reading this, I could almost see Carter in a meeting, convincing old-school types that your clients, if engaged and respected, can actually become your marketing department. No, really. It's true. Trust me.
Get out a highlighter and get ready to make notes. There are plenty of online extras, as well, including the resources Carter relies on to get the right information in the right way.
The distinction Carter makes about social business v. social media is an important one. This book is a great field guide for those of us focused on business, but ready to get bold with social media.
**Social Media Club members (Open/Pro/SMB/Corporate) are welcome to participate in a free webinar hosted by Social Media Club featuring Sandy Carter, Author of Get Bold on Tuesday, March 27th at 2pm EDT. Register here!**