I’ve recently come across organisations – one medium sized and one large – that are embracing social business* by accident. Meaning that they are harnessing the collaborative nature of social media for both external and internal communications ends, in these cases specifically by crowd sourcing stories and a cross border/silo communications pilot run on an enterprise social network. By having no method to the madness, I’d argue two of the cornerstones of social business remain unheeded:
- In social business by accident, social media is another tool used to help meet a communications objective. Real social business incorporates social in other areas of business (where relevant) e.g. R&D, talent development and risk management, and consequently has greater overall value to a business.
- Given that real social business invariably involves new business practices, the flattening of silos, new forms of collaboration across all business units, and greater transparency and scrutiny – a substantial cultural shift is required within any organisation that embarks on it. That shift makes organisations well-placed to succeed in a hyper-connected world. Social business by accident doesn’t.
* Social business, as defined by Altimeter, is “a set of visions, goals, plans and resources that align social media initiatives with business objectives.”