Headshift pioneered the use of social tools within traditional firms, and worked from 2002 for over a decade to help firms improve operations and engagement using smarter, simpler, social technology

Head Start

Interested, but don’t know where to begin?

We have a tried and tested methodology for identifying the most effective starting points for a social business strategy inside your organisation. Our user-centric approach elicits real user stories to identify how social tools and networks could improve business outcomes.

We offer a quick fixed fee consultation that will give you:

  • a clear understanding of the social business landscape and where your organisation currently sits
  • a vision of where your organisation could be and immediate actions to get started
  • an energised and engaged group of pioneers ready to try out new ways of working together

What areas do we cover?

We begin with an initial consultation, which includes interviews with a few key individuals to get an overall feel for your organisation and benchmarking against other organisations in your area to understand the current state of practice and the competitive landscape.

Connections

  • How well are your people connected?
  • Where are the obvious holes and blockages?
  • How easily can they find each other to get things done?

Culture

  • Is informal knowledge shared where needed?
  • How are you harnessing collective wisdom?
  • What role do customers play in your process?

Communication

  • How do people share signals of their activity?
  • Do you have common formats for information sharing?
  • How easy is it to collaborate?

Content

  • What personal filters and tools do people use?
  • How do you promote findability as well as search?
  • How can users contribute to information management?

Identifying specific use cases to address

Following on the from this analysis, we typically organise a workshop to check our findings and drill down to the concrete use cases that a social business strategy might address. This is where we get to look people in the eye and really understand their frustrations as well as their ambitions. It is where we often uncover “Headshift moments” where people explore the transformational potential of social business thinking, and we often see sceptics turned into evangelists.

We begin with some education and background on developments in social business, but look at these in the context of the likely starting points we have identified. For example, we may look at how documents are reviewed, or how people identify expertise, or at something highlighted in the interviews. This is not dry theory – it is illustrated with examples of real systems used by real people. Then, we break into groups and delve into the detail of the stories about how we might socialise and streamline day-day processes, and ideally people share and collaborate with the right people, in the right context, and with the least impact on their time.

How does this help you move forward?

Following the workshop, we write up our user stories and meet with key stakeholders to present our findings and validate our assumptions, outlining a vision of how your organisation could take advantage of social business tools and thinking. Once we have validated the overall story, we might put together a paper prototype – either sketches or screenshots of how Social business tools could address the stories we have uncovered – if we feel a technology solution is appropriate. Alternatively, the output might be a strategy document or a business case. We make these outputs available on our own private wiki platform, so that attendees can continue the debate, or join in if they were unable to attend the workshop.

In many cases, this work forms the basis of a defined programme of activities, with specific ROI and other goals, as a framework for running projects, evaluating their success and gradually moving forward with or without our support.

Contact us today to get a head start in social business design.

Post*Shift: the Prequel

A decade of learning how, when and with whom social technology can be implemented inside organisations to humanise and improve their operations left behind an interesting trail of blog posts, experiences and case studies, so it seemed like a good idea to maintain this web archive. Headshift was founded in 2002, sold in 2009, and the right to its name and content was then re-acquired by its founders in 2014 as they were setting up their new venture, Post*Shift. If you enjoy reading this archive, please head over to the Post*Shift site to find out how we are building on the first phase of social business technology to create new structures, culture and operations in large organisations as part of our vision for Twenty-First Century Business.