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Listen First!: Turning Social Media Conversations into Business Advantage by Stephen D. Rappaport

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Chapter 23

Become a Listening Organization

Many companies want to know how they can become true listening organizations—this is one of the most frequently asked questions at listening forums and workshops put on by the ARF. At this early point in listening's adoption, few proven models are available to benchmark against, consider, and implement. For the most part it's been a matter of fit, feel, and finances (see the discussion in Chapter 1).

Companies that have embraced listening across their entire organizations, such as IBM and Lego, took different approaches that made sense for their individual companies. IBM created a center of excellence to support listening initiatives worldwide, whereas Lego completely streamlined and reorganized. A better idea than finding a model to abide by is to apply principles that lead to the right solution for your business. The following two essays reveal that principles combine ways of thinking with ways of acting.

Chris Boudreaux, head of management consulting at listening research and social media agency Converseon, outlines the various organizational obstacles that stand in the way of achieving meaningful business results from social media and listening. These include unclear, fragmented strategy; superficial, convenience measurement; staffing and training issues; and unaligned technologies. Boudreaux then delineates a five-step plan every company should consider, to maximize the contributions of social media and listening to the business. ...

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