Monday, 30 March 2009

The Competitive Society


   I’m looking at changing the name of this blog to ‘Competitive Society’ (and also moving it to

I’m still not comfortable that, given its other connotations, Social Business (even the New Social Business) is the right name for what I’m writing about, ie an organisation that invests in social capital.

Perhaps it needs a completely new name?

So how about the Competitive Society???


I like the name because:

  • It’s reminiscent of Michael Porter’s ‘Competitive Strategy’: 
    • “Competitive strategy is about being different. It means deliberately choosing a different set of activities to deliver a unique mix of value.”  Michael E Porter.
  • And I think this is fitting, because developing social capital IS a way to gain competitive advantage (see my HCM post on competing through Organisational Capability rather than Strategic Positioning).


  • I like the word ‘society’.  People normally associate ‘community’ with social media etc, but I think society is more apt:
    • People tend not to be just in one community, but many communities.  The most appropriate unit to analyse the social business is therefore the individual – or the organisation as a whole, not its constituent communities.  Society expresses the idea of a cluster of communities, and so I think it nicely expresses the social aspect of an organisation.


  • Competitive Society therefore suggests the possibility of gaining competitive advantage by investing in the social aspects of the organisation.  Spot on!


Unfortunately, a competitive society also sounds a bit like Thatcher’s Britain on steroids.  Which isn’t quite what I want.

Let me know what you think…


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