Elsewhere

We are moving into a new, post-industrial world, and new ways will have to be designed so that business can thrive.

This is like the economic pressures that drive us to build new infrastructure in the real world, or the societal pressures that lead us to make basic changes: like universal suffrage, the abolition of slavery, and child labor laws.

Whatever else social business comes to be, it has to be based on how people operate when they feel most free, most creative, most engaged, and most needed. We have to build a way of working where the people doing the work matter as much as the work being done.

Whatever else, social business must be that.

- Stowe Boyd


Investment in headcount and infrastructure have steadily grown, as companies reach “intermediate” stages of social business. Several are turning their sights from “social media” as an extension of marketing and communications, and seek to push a “social business” agenda throughout the organization. Top findings include:
Most organizations are “intermediate,” with only 17% self-described as “strategic” in the execution of their social strategies.
78% of companies have a dedicated social media team, at the division, corporate or both levels 
Companies are committing more headcount to social media across all sizes of organizations. The biggest jump is for companies with more than 100,000 employees, which now report an average of 49 full-time employees supporting social media, compared to 20 in 2010.
85% of companies have an organizational social media policy, yet only 18% of companies report that their employees’ knowledge of social media usage and the organizational policy is either good or very good.
(via Charlene Li, The State of Social Business in 2013 | LinkedIn)

Investment in headcount and infrastructure have steadily grown, as companies reach “intermediate” stages of social business. Several are turning their sights from “social media” as an extension of marketing and communications, and seek to push a “social business” agenda throughout the organization. Top findings include:

  • Most organizations are “intermediate,” with only 17% self-described as “strategic” in the execution of their social strategies.
  • 78% of companies have a dedicated social media team, at the division, corporate or both levels 
  • Companies are committing more headcount to social media across all sizes of organizations. The biggest jump is for companies with more than 100,000 employees, which now report an average of 49 full-time employees supporting social media, compared to 20 in 2010.
  • 85% of companies have an organizational social media policy, yet only 18% of companies report that their employees’ knowledge of social media usage and the organizational policy is either good or very good.

(via Charlene Li, The State of Social Business in 2013 | LinkedIn)

(via ibmsocialbiz)

‘Social Business’ isn’t dead, but it isn’t enough, either — Stowe Boyd -- Gigaom Research

http://research.gigaom.com/2013/10/social-business-isnt-dead-but-it-isnt-enough-either/

A recent resurgence of the ‘is Social Business dead?’ meme bubbled over this week in a post by Chris Heuer, and smelling the bacon grease I ran toward the fire, offered up an analysis, and announced a new project, at the same time:

an excerpt

Social business isn’t dead, but it has become tired. It’s not longer even an edgy and emotive alternative to business-as-usual, and partly because of the half he [Heuer] gets wrong or never examines: today’s tools for social business. The world of business has moved ahead to accepting the class of contemporary technologies that embody the slightly better 2013-style of collaborative business, dominated by work management tools from Microsoft, Salesforce, IBM, Jive, and other established enterprise software vendors. To the extent that those tools and the practices that surround them define the social business, then they have become commonplace, not a profound redefinition of working together in new ways.

• What is needed, though, is not a retreat to arguing about the term social business, but a movement forward, a movement embodied as a community of people committed to advancing new principles of learning, organization, leadership, and management, pushing forward into a new future of work. •

In  writings more recent that the January piece Heuer pointed to, I have made a strong case for the following trends, supported by a wide range of research here at GigaOM and other firms:

  1. C-level executives hope to gain another round of productivity from new technologies and practices that are grouped under the loose rubric of ‘social’.
  2. They believe that the mechanisms used in the past — demanding more work from employees, and routinization of work practices — cannot be used again, at least not to get any serious gains.
  3. The answer — if that is a question — is for organizations to adopt a new form factor for business, one that undoes the rules and loosens the ties that make businesses slow to learn, innovate, and respond.
  4. One of the toolsets to apply in this quest for the fast-and-loose business are ideas about working socially and tools to support that. However, the greatest advances are likely to be more closely linked to fundamentals of organizational culture, and the relationship of the individual to work and the organization, rather than a social business breakthrough, per se.
• To the extent that social business was a concept that a community of practitioners hoped would represent or spark a radical break with the past, it has fallen short. •

Perhaps, then, I could restate Heuer’s apocalyptic statement into something more practical and pragmatic: social business isn’t dead, but it isn’t enough, either. And simply getting the meaning of the term straightened out — if such a thing is possible, at this point — won’t add much, either. At the best, there are a set of ideas derived from the social revolution on the web — like pull versus push communication, and the benefits of defaulting to open, not closed, communication — that can be productively applied to make working socially easier and faster.

What is needed, though, is not a retreat to arguing about the term social business, but a movement forward, a movement embodied as a community of people committed to advancing new principles of learning, organization, leadership, and management, pushing forward into a new future of work.

To the extent that social business was a concept that a community of practitioners hoped would represent or spark a radical break with the past, it has fallen short. You can interpret that as a failure of the concept, or a sign of endurance of the mainstream notion of business, or perhaps even as a failed power grab by those most loudly advocating for ‘social business’-led change. But this does not mean that work isn’t changing, or that we do not need even more change — in our organizations and ourselves — in the months and years ahead. We do. It is essential to find new balance in a new normal, where the ground beneath our metaphorical feet is never steady and always shifting.

I am committed to help give such a movement a bit more definition, and in the following weeks I will be laying out some ideas about a loose community of people committed to the investigation of the future of work. I am launching an effort to do that called Chautauqua, named after the adult education movement of late 19th and early 20th century America. I hope to work with local groups across the country and internationally to explore a topic central to the future of work each month, in a model stolen (honestly) from the Pecha Kucha and Creative Mornings movements.

You might want to read the whole piece at GigaOM Research, or visit the Chautauqua site and join up. 

More and more decisions are made by the emergent interaction of multiple communicating systems, and these component systems themselves are constantly adapting, changing the way they work. This is the real impact of the Internet: by allowing adaptive complex systems to interoperate, the Internet has changed the way we make decisions. More and more, it is not individual humans who decide, but an entangled, adaptive network of humans and machines.

W. Daniel Hillis (via inthenoosphere)

Hence, Emergent Business, not Social Business.

The most unexpected aspect of the explosion of the web — now the dominant modality for human communication and sense-making — is that it has been a social revolution. And as the cultural dynamics that have evolved in the open web have been carried into the business world, we are starting to see the same sequence of stages: denial rapidly followed by bottom-up adoption and then commercial colonization. The current thinking about social business may turn out to be like the B2B fantasies of the early ’00s. We should anticipate the unexpected (or actively suppressed) to happen, instead: when the people formerly known as employees take control of cowork, bypassing pre-web systems of control, and changing the way that work works through new emergent behaviors. This will blindside the world of business, although it is already happening, right in front of our eyes.

Stowe Boyd, cited by Justin Kirby in Rethinking the Connected Marketing Future - Part 3

The social revolution in business won’t be like today’s vendors are telling us. They mostly are selling a rewarmed collaboration tool framework (‘groupware’ of the ’90s) with an activity stream glued on. The emergent business will be based on cooperative tools and norms underlying postnormal cowork, not collaborative ones.

Social networks will displace business processes, not socialize them - Stowe Boyd via GigaOM Research

http://pro.gigaom.com/report/social-networks-will-displace-business-processes-not-socialize-them/

from the report’s Executive Summary

“Socialized business process” — the idea of adding social tools to traditional business processes — is unlikely to work in the long term. The enterprise is now transitioning to social network–based communication as introduced by social tools, and there is a fundamental conflict in communication models with business-process-centric business. The attempt to make the socialized business process work may be part of the adoption problem reported in the social-business industry.

The shift to social network’s pull communication, where individuals more or less subscribe to information sources, will run counter to business process push communication and eventually invalidate it. Push-and-pull communication styles won’t jibe, and pull lines up with the transition to social network–based communication. Most notably, this will undermine business processes and the collective-collaborative organization that evolved in parallel with business processes. The shift won’t take place in the way that email led to organizational flattening. Rather, it will invalidate the rules and roles of business processes and turn the process logic into just another kind of information passed along through the social network.

It may be obvious, but companies that are more oriented toward a connective-cooperative style of work will get more benefits from social networks than those that are less so. Stated more strongly, those wishing to get the boost that many believe is inherent in this lean, self-innovating, fast-and-loose model of work will have to actively move away from the cultural principles of slow-and-tight, twentieth-century business.

In order to better explore these rapidly changing dynamics, this report presents a psychodynamic cultural model for business called the 3C model. The name is based on three sorts of business culture:

  • Competitive: wheel-and-spoke organization, decision making by edict, feudal or clan culture
  • Collaborative: pyramid-and-processes organization, decision making by elite consensus, slow-and-tight culture
  • Cooperative: network-and-connections organization, laissez faire decision making, fast-and-loose culture

We also explore various archetypes of individuals’ psychosocial matches with the various flavors of companies. The freelancer and follower archetypes, for example, do well in cooperative settings, but they are poorly matched with entrepreneurial organizations (which may explain Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer’s recent edict excluding remote work.)

High-performing companies of the near future will be operating based on looser ties among individuals in and across businesses. Many more of them will be supported by next-generation cooperative tools. Individuals in these companies will have more autonomy, and there will be more opportunity seeking when compared to the largely slow-and-tight, risk-averse companies that are dominant today. The value of consensus is falling in a rapidly changing, unstable world where there is a higher premium for business innovation and more uncertainty than ever before. And this leads to a devaluation of business processes, in particular those business processes intended to direct human agency and to act as a surrogate for management directing employees’ every move.

You can sign up for a seven day free trial of the GigaOM Research service, and read the entire report.

thisbigcity:

hautepop:

via cibelle:

Transparent Business Coffee Shop #newtrend?! #hunt;darton cafe on Lower Clapton road

I like this. There’s lots of talk about “transparency” vis-a-vis the “social business”, which is mostly just jargon but here it is in action.
I also think it’s likely to be good business sense - it brings the customer into the workings of the business and you can see how buying your coffee helps them. There’s also a motive to return, to see how they’re doing next week. (Well, if you’re a data wonk like me!) The British love an underdog, so while takings are pretty tiddly like this, I think it’ll make people feel more involved in the business.
Sorry, did I say ‘business’? I meant ‘experience’. Not just a cafe, also an “interactive art installation”. Oh Hackney…

All encompassing hosts Hunt & Darton expose the inner workings of their business by presenting everything as art – from the public display of their bank balance to the lovingly handpicked charity shop crockery.

Well, know thy customer…
Still, I do wish twee and ironic gourmet coffee wasn’t a Thing.

Interesting. London coffee shop presents a breakdown of all their outgoings, profit margins etc. Transparency? Apparently it’s art.

Open books is a bit scary, but it’s trust-building at the ground level.

thisbigcity:

hautepop:

via cibelle:

Transparent Business Coffee Shop #newtrend?! #hunt;darton cafe on Lower Clapton road

I like this. There’s lots of talk about “transparency” vis-a-vis the “social business”, which is mostly just jargon but here it is in action.

I also think it’s likely to be good business sense - it brings the customer into the workings of the business and you can see how buying your coffee helps them. There’s also a motive to return, to see how they’re doing next week. (Well, if you’re a data wonk like me!) The British love an underdog, so while takings are pretty tiddly like this, I think it’ll make people feel more involved in the business.

Sorry, did I say ‘business’? I meant ‘experience’. Not just a cafe, also an “interactive art installation”. Oh Hackney…

All encompassing hosts Hunt & Darton expose the inner workings of their business by presenting everything as art – from the public display of their bank balance to the lovingly handpicked charity shop crockery.

Well, know thy customer…

Still, I do wish twee and ironic gourmet coffee wasn’t a Thing.

Interesting. London coffee shop presents a breakdown of all their outgoings, profit margins etc. Transparency? Apparently it’s art.

Open books is a bit scary, but it’s trust-building at the ground level.

(via ideasdash)

Socialogy: Interview With Will McInnes

Keep Your Eyes On Tomfoolery

Tomfoolery blog, Mobile eats the Enterprise

Marc Andreessen wrote this great article about why software will eat the world.  A similar seismic shift is happening because of the sensor-rich computers we carry around in our pockets. In the consumer space, the shift is obvious — mobile devices beat desktop & notebook PC shipments, time spent in mobile apps beats that spent on the internet(daily!), and we’re awfully close to catching up to TV. Mobile usage will be even more disruptive in the enterprise space because it’s accompanied by three tsunamis of changing work behavior:

  • We have broken through cube walls: As people increasingly work remotely from each other, it will be imperative to collaborate from wherever we are.
  • Power belongs to the People: Mobile workers are not only choosing their own devices, they are choosing their own apps. And these apps better be good, because they know how powerful an app can be, how amazing it can look, and how much it can offer.
  • Career employees are gone forever:  The parallel forces of hyperspecialization and jobfluidity are requiring teams to be more flexible than ever before.

Though we are already able to see early benefits from mobile use at work, this is just the beginning. Location-aware, context-aware, human-aware computing is here, and as an industry, we are just beginning to understand the possibilities.

At Tomfoolery, when we set out re-imagine how teams communicate and work together, starting with a mobile-focused approach seemed not only smart but it felt like the only way to do it.

It may be a bit precipitous to judge a company’s product strategy by blog post, but I will go out on a limb and say that Tomfollery is going to release awesome software (even if they do quote Marc Andreessen). After all, a company whose motto is this

We believe all work is personal. Tomorrow can’t come soon enough.

is probably hacking interesting software.

Socialogy and a Scientifically-Grounded Understanding of People - Four Groups

http://fourgroups.com/blog/archives/20/socialogy-and-understanding-of-people/

Bruce Lewin took a look at the goals of the Socialogy project, and has a lot to say (a whole lot, so brace yourself if you click through). The Bottom line? He thinks that a missing method is necessary to scale business around social:

Bruce Lewin, Socialogy and a Scientifically-Grounded Understanding of People 

Firstly, finding a scientifically-grounded understanding of people that does fulfil all five criteria and is focussed around people is easier said than done. Clearly, there are no shortage of HR tools, methodologies and psychometrics as outlined above, although it doesn’t look like any of the ‘traditional’ tools hit the mark. Likewise, the growth in social business over the past 5 years has brought this into much sharper focus. This is a good thing but it also exposes the current shortcomings in this area.

Secondly, should any innovation or understanding emerge that does fulfil the five criteria, then the potential to change business in a hugely profound way becomes a reality.

Thirdly, one possible candidate for fulfilling these criteria and realising the transformative potential of socialogy is 4G. Although there are a variety of questions still to be answered by 4G, the 4G approach is one that is worth further consideration.

I agree that a more coherent understanding of the ‘physics of people’ is needed for businesses to take the great step forward implied by social business’ value proposition. That’s something I hope to mine from the explorations in Socialogy.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...