Too often people add subjective meaning to ‘social.’ Social does not mean wind chimes and incense and campfire Kumbaya parties. Social is simply interaction of organisms with other organisms. Social can be good or bad. War is social. Peace is social. All business is social.
Social business is simply wealth creation via complex interactions rather than transactions or ordered processes. That’s the shift. Call it social if you wish.
Social does not mean communities, collaboration, cooperation or other unctuous words that begin with co-. Social is interactions. Social business is using interactions to release free cash flows. Period.
The more subtle social business shift is away from ruinous collectivism to social atomism. Quite to the contrary of popular media, the warm and fuzzy notion of collectivism is very dangerous. It stunts authentic interaction. It harms conversation. It perpetuates grave human defects like prescribed hierarchy, empire and politics. Collectivism alone in the 20th Century killed hundreds of millions of people.
Meanwhile, the corporate mantra, ‘go along to get along’ is an obsolete vestige of the 20th Century and the Fordist mindset. Social business must let go of these artifacts.
For example, to advance social business, it is necessary to retire feudal notions. The enterprise is not some feudal ant farm or beehive. Rather, actors opt-in to fluid network constituencies to serve complex systems and to reveal productivity growth, innovation and favorable outcomes.
Social is not some catch-all for the Emperor’s new clothes. Rather, it’s critical to gain the fortitude to deal with real people that don’t keep up with the vulgar pretense of the Emperor’s ‘social’ clothes.
Someone claimed that lack of ‘social’ is creating experiences that are hurting organizations, to wit, “…those experiences are certainly driving some of the best and most talented out of large organizations.” Hunh?
This is precisely, exactly what we WANT from The Social Enterprise and enterprise social! Woo-hoo, finally, it’s really working. See:
Again, people seem to be missing the entire point of social business. <sigh>
For starters, ‘large organizations’ are obsolete, irrelevant, kaput. They were only important and necessary in the Fordist era of transaction cost economics.
For example, Look at the market capitalization of Apple, Google and Microsoft… compare that to the scant number of regular, full-time employees they have. Calculate the ratio of cap/employee. Wow! Now, compare that to the mid-century behemoths.
Also, there is some annoying notion that we take the moldering cadaver of a traditional, 20th Century Fordist organization, sprinkle with the magic social fairy dust, and ta-da! we have social business. Good grief. What a farce.
Look, the mind-numbing platitudes, clichés and vapidity of social business do not aid comprehension. It is far more important to accept business is ALWAYS social, it is nothing new, and it is fast subsuming our process and transaction legacy. That’s all. It is BIG, but if you have an open mind, you will prosper too.
Paradoxically, the social business pundits and servile acolytes seems more preoccupied with preserving the past and their weak understanding. The need to be comprehending and advancing the actual future of social business. Judging from the thin blogs, commentary and other pap, like the social metrics nonsense, it’s clear most all need to suspend disbelief!
Finally, those preoccupied with electronic communications and information as some ‘new’ capability responsible for social business, are badly wrong again. Please give us a break. It’s just another dopey red herring.
Recall in 1956 the US Labor department reported the number of white-collar jobs exceed blue-collar jobs for the first time in US labor history. It was the dawn of the Information Age.
According to Buck Fuller and Marsh McLuhan modern ‘Ages’ runs for 2.5 generations or about 50 years.
Sorry folks if you missed it, but the Information Age is OVER. Besides, technology does not create The Social Enterprise or social business, people do!