E L S U A ~ A KM Blog by Luis Suarez

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Enterprise 2.0 vs. Social Business – The Final 2.0 Transformation

Gran Canaria - Meloneras' SunsetContinuing further with wrapping up 2010, there are plenty of things I am really excited about for 2011, both at work and on a personal level, but there is one in particular that I just can’t wait for it to unleash its full potential, as it has already started to happen during the course of 2010, specially, the second half of the year, although somewhat timidly, despite some folks been busy with it for the last couple of years. Of course, I am referring to the transition we are all, finally, making towards Social Business vs. just Enterprise 2.0. Can you see how we are, at long last!, shifting gears from that technology focus only from over the course of the years with Enterprise 1.0, 2.0, etc. into purely a business related one with Social Business? Indeed, finally, we are all coming together to what a few visionaries detailed over 15 years ago when Knowledge Management first came about. The thing though that is different now is how we are not placing a specific focus on either technology, or processes, nor people, but, instead, we keep thriving to strike that balance between (social) tools, (social) business processes AND people. Yes, WELCOME to a new era, folks! Welcome to Knowledge Management 2.0 … done right! Welcome to Social Business!!

I am usually not that kind of person who is keen on writing year-in-review or highlights blog posts from a year that’s about to end, or to put together some predictions for that new year that’s about to start in a few days, but I think, for this time around, I am going to make an exception and share with you folks a good number of the various different articles I have bumped into over the course of the last few weeks and which basically touch base on this much anticipated transition into Social Business we are witnessing at the moment and which I think is going to help prepare, for most businesses, *the* final transformation into a successful 2.0 business that thrives on knowledge sharing, collaboration and innovation, right at the core, that a bunch of us have been longing for all along. Yes, I do realise there are plenty of great links that I am sharing on this entry and I am hoping you will excuse the, perhaps excessive cross-linking itself, but then again I think it’s a good exercise to read through some of those to get a glimpse of how that transition has started and how there is no way back, which is perhaps the part I am most excited about, just as well as eternally grateful to Enterprise 2.0 for helping make it a reality for all of us for 2011 and beyond …

Out of all of those various links I have mentioned above, there are a couple of them though (Read Kevin’s thoughts on where the real focus needs to be … It’s *not* on Enterprise 2.0, by the way!) that resonate the most with what we are about to witness as the next phase for Enterprise 2.0 within the corporate world, which is basically provoke an opportunity for that profound transformation for companies out there, willing to listen and engage, to become themselves altogether social businesses that truly believe they should behave that very same way as well. In Social Means Business my good friend, and 2.0 extraordinaire, Susan Scrupski, reflects a bit on that very same fact:

“[…] I caution all our members to keep their eye on the bigger picture.  The [2.0 Adoption] Council is expanding to embrace all facets of social business.  Going forward, it will not be possible to separate where social media initiatives begin and e20 ends.  And, every customer will tell you they rarely use any jargon when they’re presenting business cases to their executives.  The language they use is rooted in the benefits of social collaboration, not the features.  This is typically different for every company too, and becoming more and more strategic” [Emphasis mine]

Rather notable remarks, don’t you think? I thought so, too, indeed! In fact, that blog post by Susan reminded me of the wonderful, and rather thought provoking, summary blog post, and I can certainly recommend you all to have a look and read further in detail, by the incredibly smart Lee Bryant about the Enterprise 2.0 Summit event a bunch of us attended in Frankfurt by the end of October, where he talked extensively about the whole concept behind Trojan Mice; in this context, obviously, Enterprise 2.0 itself, and how it needs to move into the next challenge: facilitate the transition for companies to become successful social businesses.


Or, as Susan herself puts together rather nicely on that article with this other noteworthy quote, worth while remembering as we enter 2011 as well:

This next phase of the evolution of the social business market is about integration. Social Integration of people, process, and technology. Integration of Work, Society, and Technology. Integration of the past with the future

Like I said, I would strongly recommend you have a look into the rather long, but, very insightful, blog post put together by Lee to see how that integration of people, (social) business processes and technology (i.e. Enterprise 2.0) will be coming together to mark the birth of the Social Business in the Knowledge Economy of the 21st century. If you have been reading this blog for a while, you will realise how this may not be that new after all, nor different from the main premises of how Knowledge Management came about over 15 years ago. Exactly the same end-goal, the same mission, the same commitment to make it work this / that time around, the same excitement and long-term vision as today’s Social Business. Hopefully, we have learned the lessons from back then, try not to make the very same mistakes again (Specially the extra emphasis on technology and processes as the killer-app for everything!) and get it right this time around, because so far it looks like the focus is right where it should be; striking that worthy balance between people + process + technology = social business!

That’s just why I can’t wait for 2011 to kick things off already! Exciting times ahead, indeed, don’t you think? … Are you ready?

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    1. Hi Russell! Thanks for dropping by and for the feedback! Yes, sir, I just can’t wait to see how 2011 will roll things over for us! I think it’s probably going to be *the* critical year that will confirm whether we have been on the right track all along, or whether we were fooling ourselves big time! Hope for the former rather than the later!! hehe

      Hope we can meet up F2F at some point in the new year! Happy Holidays, my friend! 🙂

  1. Oh, no! I can’t believe that you’ve bought into the Social Business hype/jargon. Business has always been social. Indeed, the entire premise of creating a business entity ultimately relies on social interactions.

    Can we start over?

    1. Hi Paula! LOL!! Thanks for the great comments and follow up! Actually, I haven’t bought into the whole #socbiz thing; the world is finally catching up with what plenty of us envisioned over 10 years ago way before KM was bastardised with vendors and consultants inflicting that extra focus on technology along with processes.

      Your extended commentary about KM and why it has flawed us all for a long while pretty much comes from that era where the focus shifted in the wrong direction. Nowadays with Social Business it looks like we are on the same stage as we were with KM over 15 years ago, way before it was ruined for good. I am not buying into any new fancy hype / jargon… I am just raising the awareness that we should not make the same mistakes as we did back then, learn our lessons and get the story right this time around…

      Yes, business has always been social, but we are seeing that transformation of a physical social business to a virtual and distributed one where those social interactions would need to be nurtured just as much! Hopefully, this time around we will get it right! 🙂

      Thanks again for the lovely feedback! Greatly appreciated!

      Happy Holidays as well! 🙂

      1. When we say we did not go on right direction and we are on same stage back of 15 years. How much to blame to Consultants? were they not able to sell and drive KM successfully and today we are trying to get rid of KM but we are not fully appreciating the fact that Social Business comes from the path of KM and due to its failure as many of them say now, Our innovative thinking is coining Social Business. Even most of the big Analyst firms are talking much about Social Business but are not coining KM in their title reports.

  2. Hi Luis,
    You are so inspiring and I really miss the Blue IQ meetings. Thanks for sharing your insights and great links. I learn something new everytime I dig into your suggestions.

  3. A quick comment from a sales guy. Can we come up with a different term than “Social Business?” Yes, business is and has always been social, but the term “social” is often immediately associated as a productivity killer. Marc Benoiff at SFDC is careful not to talk about Chatter within the context of social for this reason. I know this is more of a branding/labelling issue, but you would be surprised how challenging it can be to overcome this obstacle just to start a dialogue.

    Does “Engaged Business” work?

  4. @Fabian, Interesting you mention this. What do you think about “Social Media” should that also be changed to “Engaged Media”? Could it be that companies who dislikes using the word social business are the same as those who avoids to use and take an advantage of using social media?

    I believe this might reflect a generation shift where younger people and the broad minded leaders are much more open. To include the word social and live up to it is a necessity for companies who wants to be leaders and continue doing business during this Century.

    Related to the financial crisis and what happened and still happens behind the scenes is it quite obvious we need to have a much better balance between social and business. A true leadership is also based on dare to challenge the current beliefs otherwise they are only followers.

    1. Hi Pete, thanks much for dropping by and for the feedback comments! Indeed, I got to read your blog post yesterday, when it started making the rounds and it looks like you have got some nice commentary coming along as well. I am planning on blogging specifically about your blog post, but I think it clearly highlights something I have seen starting to happen over the course of the last couple of years, right when Social Business first came about with the Dachis Group folks… And that’s the fact that people are not to worried about definitions per se, but more interested in the concepts, the transformation that’s happening in businesses, and the opportunity to change how business gets done nowadays by making it much more open, public, transparent and clearer.

      I think we are going to see how we are going to stop worrying about the definitions of whichever the concept and just get the job done, which, if you look into what happened with Knowledge Management, a.k.a. KM, over 15 years ago, it went through the same trend; and a over a decade later people still can’t have a definition that would cover every aspect of KM. The same thing seems to be happening with E2.0 and, lately, Social Business.

      I think we are moving along from trying to define what we know is already and still try to execute the successful deployment and adoption of a new model of doing business, and that, to me, is a good thing 🙂


      1. Luis,

        Thank you for the feedback. I look forward to reading your blog post on the subject. While evangelists within the community can debate definitions and concepts, I believe there’s an important branding issue for those who still don’t fully understand the tranformation potential of digital collaboration.

        From the CEOs trading strategies to new college grads trying to operate in an existing enterprise there are still far to many who don’t have the first clue about this field or are in the early stages of E20/Social Business maturity.

        As the strategic vision evolves, we need skilled marketing/branding strategies to educate and motivate more to adopt this exciting new model. Once we have those sticky ideas, it will allow executives and interns to understand and in turn convince others the concepts and strategies we champion.

        1. Hi Pete! Great follow up! Thanks much for sharing those very helpful insights! I surely agree with you on coming up with that marketing / branding strategy, although somehow I feel that we may not well be talking about either Enterprise 2.0 or Social Business.

          As a starting point, and as much as I am very keen on keeping the Enterprise 2.0 moniker we have to acknowledge that it only covers one part of the collaboration and business landscapes, that one of technology, better collaborative and knowledge sharing tools. It doesn’t cover the aspect of people and business processes, although it can surely affect them, but they are not part of it. Jevon McDonald had a great point on this one from one of the links I linked to above.

          And when talking about social business, if we look into what a social business has got to do today it doesn’t have much to do with social software, according to the same Wikipedia article you referenced. So I think we are still in transition into whatever comes afterwards that we would settle on.

          In a recent interview I did while at the Lotusphere 2011 event in Orlando, I called it “Work” and surely becoming a bigger fan by the day of applying the 2.0 moniker to work, because that’s essentially where we are going to; to a time where we will not even be discussing these very interesting and insightful points of view, but just be talking about work. And I already gave it one year, by 2012; we shall see whether we are ready to make that step or not…

  5. Interesting and exciting article!

    I am wondering if i can find answers on:
    1) What could be shape of Social Business or where we could see Social Business after 15 years
    2) What Social business offers that KM did not
    3) Most of the time organizations are struggling with KM and will Social Business come to there rescue or just its another fad and new window of opportunity
    4) What are top 5 or 10 striking accomplishments Social Business brings that is still not resolved from good old KM
    5) So much of Investment and efforts being made on good old KM solutions and big firms could afford to shift immediate focus to Social Business solutions and will this kill the small boutique KM solution companies in future if not soon
    6) What am i missing heavily if i miss Social Business boat today
    7) Social Business brings still big complexity to Information (unstructured) crowd over web, how end user should tackle this

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