Social Business in 2013 – A Challenge

16 thoughts on “Social Business in 2013 – A Challenge”

  1. I’ve been looking around as well, the obvious ones would be HR and L&D (albeit on a more strategic level), but reaching beyond functions, I think you are looking at individuals/stakeholders that are willing to take a serious look at organizational design and transformation..even beyond that I currently explore aspect of Collaborative Sensemaking.. (more to explore:

    Let’s aim for a higher purpose.

    1. Hi Joachim, thanks a lot for dropping by and for the excellent commentary! Spot on with regards to the recommendation on Collaborative Sensemaking and superb that link with tons of materials shared generously by John Kellden! We know each other as well from Google Plus and his superb reflections on the topic and surely right on the money!

      However, I think that organisational design and transformation needs to originate not necessarily from individuals or stakeholders, since they have already and we haven’t progressed enough in provoking that transformation. You hinted HR and that surely is getting closer! That’s the group that I feel needs to finally “wake up” to Social Business and, like it’s been written a few times already, become the main force behind that social business transformation.

      It’s probably now a good time, too, Joachim, for HR to, finally, understand how it needs to transition from Human Resources into Human Relationships and how to manage and facilitate those accordingly to the time we live in 🙂

      Talking about aiming for a higher purpose! And that’s just group #1 … Group #2 is even much more exciting and incredibly challenging hehe (More to come on that one shortly…)

      Thanks again for the generous feedback, my friend! Greatly appreciated!

        1. Absolutely! It’s going to be rather fascinating over the course of next few months, could of years! And thanks much for pointing me to Jon Ingam’s G+ Community on HR 2.0. I know Jon very well and part of the inspiration of this new re-focus on Social Business within HR comes from him. He’s done tremendous amount of great work in that space and surely look forward to diving into G+ communities and make a good selection of the ones I would want to tap into! Yours are Jon’s are on my Top Picks!!

          Exciting times, Joachim! 😀

    1. Hi Anna, awww, many thanks for dropping by and for noticing the blog post! And a Happy New Year to you, too! Yes, the following round of blog posts are going to be rather interesting to set the stage of what my main focus areas are going to be in the next year, and beyond …

      Making it count all the way! ;-))

  2. Hi Luis
    thank you for bursting back in to the blogosphere with your usual energy and insights bringing us your thoughts for 2013! Welcome back!

    I’d like to move this discussion further forward
    (if I may be so bold) and leave aside “the world without email” and on to your thoughts on how knowledge workers separate work from personal/leisure when it comes to using social tools. So what’s OK outside the enterprise is different to what’s happening inside – pleasure + work does not equal current social business?

    Well now let’s assume knowledge workers are fully engaged in the enterprise using the social tools provided and are using all the external social tools for their personal/leisure life and getting a lot of exposure as individuals.

    Those same individuals then start using the external tools for business purposes (i.e tweeting for their business/products – using fb for business interactions) and apart from increasing the scope of “social Business” as we know it, get further exposure on two levels – but still as one individual.

    Social technologies then blur the distinction between business and personal of that individual – it becomes harder to distinguish and comes with inherent dangers – someone says something to the business audience that was only meant for the personal friends – forgetting where and who they are saying it to…
    Is it not “fear” (of an unwanted exposure) that perhaps continues to make knowledge workers keep their social tools separate – what’s appropriate for one platform may not be desired for another – however advanced or limited the engagement on any? The challenge is to remove the fear.

    Thanks for the great post Luis and happy new year!

    1. Hi Marie-Louise, many thanks for dropping by, for noticing the post and for the kind wishes! Yes, indeed, it’s *good* to be back after all of this time and see how the conversations on the blog posts are way way better than the original piece! That’s one of the many many things that I have loved all along about blogging and why I am still having a blast! Thanks much for your generous contributions and let’s dive into them right away!

      What’s OK outside the enterprise is that particular aspect of how knowledge workers can self-organise on what drives value for them, get the work done (even if with a personal flavour) AND then get recognised for that piece of work. In a corporate environment the first (self-organise) and the last (get proper recognition) components are just not happening frequently enough, which is essentially getting knowledge workers completely disengaged and demotivated to make social business work for them. See? Think of Enterprise 2.0 being out there since 2006, that’s nearly 6 years, then add on the moniker for Social Business from shortly after and yet look at Deloitte’s piece of research from a year ago where it confirmed how over 70% of today’s corporate knowledge workforce is totally disengaged from work! Is Social Business helping out? Not much. It’s happening, but in a different way that most enterprises haven’t yet comprehended on the final reach / goal: knowledge workers pushing themselves off the cliff and on to outside the firewall to carry out work they care about, are passionate about and very knowledgeable on and that they would get recognised for. Something that keeps getting missed by the corporate world, if we judge by that huge % of employees totally disengaged.

      That’s why I am not too sure it’s fear of using social technologies what most knowledge workers out there are afraid to do, but more question what are businesses doing to help provoke that particular business transformation they know needs to happen with the adoption of social software, but that 6 years later it just hasn’t happened. Corporate businesses are still very much driven by hierarchies, political and bullying games, promoting and boosting individual competition, hoarding and protection of knowledge, and all of those good evil habits and ways of doing business we have cultivated and nurtured for decades. Before tackling the question about fear I would want to question HR, as part of its own transformation into Human Relationships what it plans to do with social business to facilitate, lead and nurture people, versus just having the zillionth attempt at managing the unmanageable: people.

      That’s why on the CMSWire article I mentioned the huge opportunity HR has got ahead of itself to help drive, with success, the full business transformation we have all been asking for. The rest is just striking for breadcrumbs that can only feed you up to so long … 6 years gone by is already 3 years too late!

      Bring it on!

      1. Hi Luis
        Many thanks for your thorough and thoughtful response 🙂 and I can understand where you are coming from and what you are saying only too well.! I also agree about the opportunities that HR depts have ahead of them.
        However do you not think it’s a two way street? That individuals need to persist with making it work and continuing to connect and engage. You say that the ability to self organise (get the job done) and get recognition within the enterprise is not happening frequently enough in the corporate world- but how is such recognition being measured? And how is that then being measured against those that continue to use social tools to their benefit on the outside? Are you in fact saying that the Deloitte study that shows how 70% of corporate knowledge workforce are disengaged is down to the failure of social business (and those that drive it from within the enterprise) to meet its goals?
        I think many find the connection with social tools with HOW they do their job AND shape their careers a difficult one within the enterprise – and fear of losing their reputation within the enterprise amounts to a greater fear than shaping it on the outside where they are not in regular contact with the people they connect and engage with (she says nervously…)
        Keeping things separate then starts to appear as a better option?

        Six years may have gone by but there are still lots of new people coming on board who don’t see it’s too late – in fact it might just be starting to happen… 🙂

        Fantastic discussion Luis – it’s all a learning curve – thanks very much!

        1. Hi Marie-Louise, thanks much for the follow-up! Greatly appreciated the extended commentary and the conversation! Lots of really good stuff! Yes, indeed, it’s a two way street, but unfortunately all along it’s been turned on into a single one way street, that one of the employees who keep exercising their patience and resilience to the extreme hoping that things will eventually shift AND change, yet that change never happens. It hasn’t happen in the over 18 years that social software tools have been there. I think it’ll be critical to see and understand how much those same knowledge workers would be to wait, exercise some extended patience and be resilient. The change is worth it though. But will we be able to stick around for that long in general?

          RE: “how is such recognition being measured?” > I am not sure what you would think, but most of the folks I talk to, customers and business partners, as well as internally, keep confirming that such recognition is rather just not happening (Because the current business conditions are tough, even if they are not!!) and if it is happening it’s taking place in a form and shape that discourages knowledge sharing, collaborating out there in the open, connecting, networking, helping each other. Instead, it’s been recognised from an individual perspective where individuals need to continue competing with one another to just win that yearly recognition, even though they may well have been working on it for years! If you look into it, for an employer’s point of view it’s the easiest, most effective manner of embracing the mantra: “divide and conquer”. Meaning, foster and boost their competitive, fighting spirit hitting on each other and that would keep them weak enough for certain groups to stay on top. That’s what’s happening to the recognition space at the moment. Not pretty, quite the opposite, demotivating and rather enervating, when you come to think about the amount of political, bullying and sucking up atmosphere it provokes time and time again in the corporate world.

          RE: “re you in fact saying that the Deloitte study that shows how 70% of corporate knowledge workforce are disengaged is down to the failure of social business (and those that drive it from within the enterprise) to meet its goals?” > No, I am not saying that, by all means. The study just measured how disengaged employees are due to demotivating work, where meaning, purpose, recognition are lacking, where their management and leadership teams are not up to the expectations of helping their employees or showing they care and so forth. Social Business is not provoking such disengagement. On the contrary, those very same executive and management teams have been claiming that social business could help address that, and ironically are finding out through some brutal exercises of constructive criticism how it is not. If the work is not meaningful, nor purposeful enough, if proper recognition is not there, if proper 21st century leadership is not leading by example, social business won’t be able to turn the tide at all. It’s that big, fat pig in the pigsty that we keep trying to put some lipstick on thinking it’ll improve the outlook. No, it won’t. There is a much more fundamental problem at stake that social business is just continuing to bump into all around: lack of true leadership to provoke the change and social transformation, because things are much much better all along keeping up with the status quo. At least, for a good few.

          Marie-Louise, I would probably make a double distinction over here with regards to the concept of reputation: 1. Peer to peer reputation, that although potentially feared it’s always embraced as the way to move forward on that particular aspect of learning along the way to become better at what you do in an interconnected, more collaborative world and 2. Executive / Management reputation: I think this is the one most knowledge workers would fear at the moment for the risk of messing things up & forget about that long term awaited promotion, recognition, or whatever else. A bit disappointing and perhaps too disgraceful that executives and managers still are waiting for that “opportunity” to nail down their employees for something wrong / bad they may have done, i.e. to focus on their weaknesses, versus their strengths, to measure their performance and reputation. That’s pretty much what’s nailing the opportunity for social business to grow. Call it fear, call it intimidation, call it, playing the political corporate b*ll*cks, but that’s essentially what that business transformation needs to eradicate once and for all. For everyone. No exceptions.

          PS. By the way, 6 years later, we are *all* on that learning curve, with different degrees of experience and experimentation / adaption, but never stopping altogether. Always on the move … forward 🙂

          Thanks again for the wonderful exchange!

  3. you wrote: “Well, as a starting point we will need to start thinking about Social Business in higher terms than ever before.” +1
    First, let’s do it out of vendor’s events and business schools think tanks 😉
    Thanks Luis and Happy New Year 😉

    1. Hi Claude, thanks a lot as well for dropping by and for the good comments! I am giggling over here as I write this blog post, because my next blog post that I will share during the course of today, will be talking about *exactly* that same premise you mention above “out of vendors and business schools”… But with a twist, that I am sure you are going to enjoy quite a bit, since I have been wanting to write that article for a while and I think it’s ready to go!

      Stay tuned for it! And a Happy New Year to you, too! 🙂

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