How Social Is Driving the Future at Ford [Video Interview]

Scott Monty Ford, photo credit: http://vimeo.com/19030379Scott Monty is the Global Digital and Multimedia Communications Manager for Ford Motor Company.  A recognized thought leader and popular speaker, he blogs atwww.scottmonty.com about the changes that affect the Social Media industry.

Recently, Monty sat down for a conversation about theFuture of Work with John C. Havens, co-author of the book “Tactical Transparency: How Leaders Can Leverage Social Media to Maximize Value and Build their Brand.”

You can watch the interview here. Below are a few highlights…

How Social Helps Get Everyone Aligned

A key aspect for the future of work is to identify how employees want to work and to provide them the tools to maximize their efficiency and success. Ford has done this via an overarching methodology called the One Ford Plan.  As Monty notes: “When Alan Mulally got here five years ago as our CEO, he put together what we call the One Ford plan which basically aligns all of us on working together on one team, with one plan, and one goal in mind.  And that kind of attitude alone has basically engendered all that has been happening with our Social Media and digital connectedness.”

Technology Can Support and Amplify a Great Workplace Culture

A key goal for success in any organization is making sure your tech tools complement a core communications strategy.  Platforms don’t create productivity.  Support (and even a mandate) from the C-Suite or management means your company’s culture is enhanced by the tools you use to work virtually between teams.   “We want to give people the flexibility that they’re used to in their personal lives when they connect outside the firewall,” says Monty. “And in my case, I connect with people on Twitter and blogs all across the web.  People need tools to do that and it makes sense to have their personal devices connected to their work stream as well.”

The company also utilizes job sharing which lets two employees essentially share a specific role, enhanced by the power of multi-platform communications channels.  On Monty’s team, people can also work from home or offsite as long as they remain easily accessible to the rest of the team and finish their tasks on time.

One Shared Social Space

Monty predicts that Ford’s social and internet channels will continue to evolve to have greater interaction capabilities, and will look more like a Facebook setup versus a static one-way messaging oriented site. He also sees the rise of an aggregated platform so employees will have all their communications functionality in one place, which will come in the form of a dashboard: “One dashboard client will have the ability to chat, send a message, or post on a wall, just like Facebook.”

Document sharing and other wiki-style applications will also come into play, but the overall point is integration and ease of use for all interactions with colleagues.

The Growing Importance of Data

A final theme for Monty’s interview is how the evolution of data mining and analysis will become so robust in the near future and greatly affect every aspect of work.  Trend reporting, consumer response to products, and even sales activity that can be mapped to create actionable campaigns based on historical activity. Sales predictions will begin to attain a higher level of accuracy farther out in advance then they ever have before.  “I do wonder how that’s going to affect us,” admits Monty.  “But even if it’s just a needle that helps us indicate a larger initiative that’s happening out there, those things are going to be important for us to be aware of and to start making sense of.”

Watch the interview: