Best Buy has innovated social beyond most traditional retailers. We’re quickly learning that social media success is often hinged on having an internal culture that’s ready to accept and learn.
Yesterday, I had the chance to visit the Best Buy HQ in friendly Minneapolis and met with Barry Judge (twitter, blog) the CMO, and several members of the social media team including Steve Bendt, Gary Koelling, and Ben Hedrington and the web teams.
They know that many of their Gen Y employees, known as Blue Shirts, are active in social technologies, in fact, this data tools shows that 18-24 year olds in US are joiners at 74% adoption rate, nearly twice the adoption of the US average. As I strolled through the amazingly large college-like campus, it became clear that social was a part of the corporate culture as folks milled about, meeting, collaborated and talking –it’s clear that social technologies will be needed to keep over 155,000 employees in sync.
Later, I’ll do a deeper dive into the various projects that they’re working on in a follow-up post, but first wanted to focus on the internal aspects of how they’re using technology to change the internal culture –social success derives from within.
My parting words to Barry were that I’ve started to notice that top marketing executives that use social tools in their daily life tend to foster cultures that allow for innovation and acceptance to ‘fail fast‘. I referenced VP Paula Drum at H&R Block, VP Sandy Carter at IBM SOA, and VP Ed Terpening at Wells Fargo.