Forty four (i)

We got back down to it for the last part of the day.

Social business

Several of us have heard two related phrases bandied around at conferences – ‘social business’ and ‘socialize the enterprise’ – and it had come up in conversation during the break. How does this idea relate to the discussions so far? And what does it mean exactly?

We agreed it means so much more than establishing the organization’s presence on the big social networks, maintaining a blog or two and procuring an enterprise social network, but it seemed there was no real definition. So we constructed one based on all the discussion so far.

Social business is about adapting the way in which an organization delivers its mission and pursues its vision by designing the organization around influence flows, connecting:
its people, partners, customers and other stakeholders;
data, information and knowledge in and all around it;
more openly, productively and profitably with the application of social web, big data and related information technologies.

We tried to shorten the definition but felt our efforts then lacked the full impact.

We are keen to convey that social business doesn’t just mean using social media. Rather, social media are just the eggs in the social business cake!

Yvonne, Georgio and I all went to make much the same observation at the same time…

On considering whose responsibility this is, it appears not to fall into the domain of a particular organization function or department. Nor does it appear irrelevant to any function or department, quite the opposite. William suggested that this wasn’t a surprise as the flows of time, money and materials have influenced today’s business structure, but not the systematic understanding of the flow of influence.

Everyone’s in the business of influence – influencing and being influenced in order to play their role valuably.

One comment

  1. Eli Appel (@EliAppel)

    Here’s a question we’ve posed ourselves since this book was published…

    Do you help all the individuals associated with your organisation (employees, customers, partners, suppliers, shareholders, etc.) build richer, more productive relationships with each other and others, coalescing by need and desire, knowledge and capability, shared values and shared value?