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New CEO Success Buzzword: 'Openness' Openness, transparency and employee empowerment have become key to business success, a survey of global CEOs say. Social media can help you unlock it.

By Mikal E. Belicove

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

CEOs Say Openness is the Trump Card for Success

What's it take to succeed in business? How about openness, transparency and employee empowerment?

That's the consensus of more than 1,700 CEOs surveyed for the 2012 IBM Global CEO Study.

Corporations are catching up with how consumers and employees like to interact with companies. As a result, the pressure's on for corporations and brands to digitalize and adapt -- instilling "engagement" as a primary tool throughout their operations.

After decades of top-down corporate management, this shift identifies increased use of social media as important to tapping into the intelligence of an organization and the wants and needs of customers. When properly managed, customers and employees alike can offer fresh solutions and ideas that directly affect profit and growth.

To achieve this open atmosphere, business leaders need to shift from a chain-of-command structure to one that embraces greater collaboration. More than half (52 percent) say that they'll be using social networking.

Such openness is refreshing, but corporations and brands must guard against security breaches and higher risks that social networking can bring to the table. As a result, many CEOs report that they're offering guidelines for proper use of social networks.

Here's how the CEOs ranked the advantages of using social networks to empower employees:

  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Creativity
  • Flexibility

Readers, what do you think? Share your views and read others' thoughts in the comments below.

Mikal E. Belicove is a market positioning, social media, and management consultant specializing in website usability and business blogging. His latest book, The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Facebook, is now available at bookstores. 

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