We have seen a lot of activity in the 2.0 space in the recent past, specifically in the social media arena. In addition to this, we have also seen a bunch of views, expressions and thoughts put down by leading industry experts and a majority of them have been around the social consulting landscape, acquisitions in this space, and experts moving into more focused social strategy & social consulting roles. Once again, we see that the importance is given to a lot of factors, in addition to just the social software per se. Most of the above actions are pointing to one phenomenon which being termed as Social Business Design.
Here are some of the lines I have picked from various sources:
Social business design is the intentional creation of a dynamic business culture that empowers all of its constituents to better exchange value. The rise of the social web has taught us a lot about how we can significantly reduce the costs of collaboration and co-ordination inside businesses, and demonstrated the power of iterative, evolutionary processes driven by real-time data and user feedback. Social Business Design is probably the first effort to completely unite both the strategic and implementation components of a new kind of business. It is a mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive way of considering how a corporation, business unit, or project can create and capture value from today’s emerging technologies and evolving operating environment.
Social Business Design is a concept that companies like Dachis Group and Altimeter Group are built on, and we definitely should give them credit for explaining the concept and making it as popular as we see it getting now. We are also now witnessing others follow suite, such as the India based 2020 Social calling it as Social Business Strategy; in fact Gaurav Mishra from 2020 Social has done a great summary of all the recent happenings in one of his recent blogs at Gauravonomics.
The entire point being made is that it is not just about the emerging technologies, but the significance of other aspects like guidance, approach, strategy, and design, etc and the value they bring, which is why one must give some attention and importance in understanding it. And if there is one term which encapsulates this, then it is Social Business Evangelism. Yes, I prefer calling it ‘Social Business Evangelism’ and define it as a philosophy consisting of a set of practices (including strategy & consulting services) provided by an individual or an enterprise to its employees or customers, guiding them in leveraging the emerging social technologies for transforming their businesses and achieving their goals in a way that is optimal and effective in nature.
Rather than concluding this, as an attempt to create yet another buzzword, I would like to explain why I prefer to use these specific words (social, business & evangelism) to describe the concept. These three words when put together brings out an expression which will allow businesses to transform for better in its entirety. The word ‘Social’ covers the human factor, the word ‘business’ is precisely the reason why customers are doing what they are doing and the word ‘evangelism’ is the philosophy that will facilitate customers in changing their business into success stories; and I think this philosophy-aspect is more important than anything else in any business. In addition, it will give intent to the entire approach of becoming 2.0 and will facilitate enterprises in becoming enterprise2.0. I would go with the Sameer Patel’s explanation of Enterprise2.0 – a state that the enterprise achieves by leveraging social computing concepts and technologies, to accelerate business performance – and Social Business Evangelism will steer these enterprises on their journey towards 2.0.
One might feel that I have completely left out ‘technology’ from this definition of mine, but to be honest technology is so much a part of our lives, that the need to give it a mention in here, just to indicate the important role it plays, is I guess a little redundant and that it being one of the key enablers, comes by default. We are already aware of how significant, technology is and how it enhances in the approach to 2.0. With the speed at which technology is evolving, what today constitutes as social technology might soon be the thing of the past and we will have a completely new set of tools; however the objectives of a business run by people towards success will always remain the same!
Some time back in May this year, I had posted about Social Media League, which was more about my view of a function in an enterprise that will act as a social media facilitation center providing all the guidance one needs inside the organization in benefiting from social tools. And this social media league acts more like a sub-set of Social Business Evangelism, where in, it complements the philosophy and has its focus on the internal environment and its needs.
Just as I was closing this article last evening, I observed a set of discussions taking place on Twitter around Enterprise2.0 & Social Business, with views coming from two distinct schools of thought and if definitions or terminologies really matter, or do the results speak for the terms we define. However I would say, to win that first customer of yours which may later show the results, you need to be very clear in what and how you define, with what you are trying to tell your audience in make them successful. So, even though I don’t encourage buzzwords, I do feel a good definition/explanation of what you suggest is fairly important.
I will close my post here, but would love to hear from you all on what you think about my views expressed above.
Nikhil Nulkar is a knowledge management consultant within Capgemini and is passionate about web2.0, specifically in enterprise2.0 & social media. Want to know what he is up to? Follow him on Twitter