Monday, 28 September 2009

My further thoughts on the Social Business


Employees    Wow, there’s been a lot of debate on Enterprise 2.0 and the Social Business recently (I’m not going to do a list – do a search!).

And I thought I’d follow-up my post on the 2.0 meme with my perspectives on the Social Business.

Of course, this is something that I’ve covered extensively before.  This blog started off its life as ‘The New Social Business’ on 24 November 2007, and I’ve shared my likes and dislikes about the term several times since then, eg:


Peoples’ concerns about E2.0 seem to reflect my own:

  • That it’s too focused on technology (McAfee’s new definition that “Enterprise 2.0 is the use of emergent social software platforms by organisations in pursuits of their goals” doesn’t exactly help!).
  • That it’s over-use has led to it becoming distracting jargon.


The term ‘social business’ is therefore preferred by many people for reasons which are also similar to mine (ie concerning the need for business to become more social, if not directly referencing social capital).

Stowe Boyd sums it up well on the Enterprise 2.0 blog:

“I have come to believe that this is the place where companies need to focus their attention: socializing the business, not adoption of Web 2.0…

We need to shift to a much more agile and adaptive way of thinking about social and collective action within businesses, and managing in a very different world than we were even a few years ago, back when Enterprise 2.0 might have seemed like a great term. Nowadays that term may be holding us back and confusing folks that haven’t been as close to the discussion as we have.”


Of course, there are some concerns about the term ‘social business’ too.  Once again, these support my own concerns, and relate to the reasons why I changed the name and address of this blog.

One additional concern however is that ‘social business’ is owned by Dachis Group (as well as Altimeter Group and other upstart consulting firms).  One comment on The Obvious says:

“‘Social business design’ is a term Dachis Group uses to distinguish itself in this market  Therefore, I believe the term is not neutral and should not replace the more generic phrase Enterprise 2.0.”


Well Dachis and Altimeter were both only started up in 2008 so I was using the term ‘social business’ well before them.  And I hereby give my permission to anyone who wants to use it to do so!

However, I’m still not convinced it’s the right term.

Suggestions on other blogs include ‘integrated business’ and ‘peak hierarchy’.  But I still like ‘Competitive Society’.  What about you?



Technorati Tags: Euan Semple,The Obvious,Stowe Boyd,Enterprise 2.0,Social Business,Social Business Design,Dachis,Altimeter


  • Consulting  - Research - Speaking  -  Training -  Writing
  • Strategy   -  Team development  -  Web 2.0  -  Change
  • Contact  me to  create  more  value  for  your  business
  • jon [dot] ingham [at] social [dash] advantage [dot] com