Debate and savviness seems to be flying across the Twitter verse these days, Stowe Boyd wrote a post about that
One quote there:
And Dennis has been making his displeasure about the use of the term ‘social business’ known, but not by arguing about the principles involved. Instead, Howlett has adopted a ‘savviness’ cant: he isn’t arguing, he uses his savviness instead of arguing.
I agree with both Stowe and Dennis. Not because I want to suck up, just because I’m used to stand in the middle.
Dennis sits in the enterprise chair, waiting for solid arguments and business cases so he can convince his “old-fashioned friends” that there’s a lot of money left on the table if they don’t go at least a bit Social right now.
Stowe sits in the social chair, describing at length what Social is and how it will evolve. What he isn’t doing, is telling why we should all jump on the supposed Social bandwagon.
I’m a big fan of Social. I’m not a big fan of old-fashioned enterprises where money’s squandered by chasing everyone up and down the hierarchy pyramid for getting simple answers to everyday questions. As I have pleaded many times before, hierarchy is a workaround installed on our way from big to bigger to humongeous corporations – it wasn’t the solution.
I believe the solution to be Social: more flat and horizontal relationships aka wirearchy. I believe employees and customers to benefit from a more humane treatment. But I also believe that there aren’t many enterprise autocrats interested in giving up their kingdoms – and as long as nobody is moving, it’s fine to stay put.
The discussion is an all-or-nothing, currently, and that’s not helping. Apart from that, revolutions usually go wrong, where evolutions usually go right. And quoting Dennis here: “all revolutions seem to require modest to high death rate. Not good” – now who’s volunteering for that?
But like the dinosaurs, adapting back to changing circumstances is just hard to do – it’s the difference between growth and change – so maybe revolution is the only way for some – with the results as predicted.
Social is a people business, enterprise is a cost business. People can be roughly divided into customers and employees, although every single one of us is a customer. There will be entire industries that aren’t helped going social, like the automobile industry and other heavily automated and industralised ones – robots don’t care about Social.
On the other hand there will be industries that only do people business – they might very well be helped with Social.
There are 2 main aspects I picked for my Magic Quadrant (warning: it’s a quick one): people and product. If you’re product-driven and product-facing (e.g. making tires for the automobile industry) you’ll have little benefit for Social. If you’re customer-facing and employee-driven (e.g. a jewelry store) you’ll have an enormous benefit for Social. In between: many shades of grey.
It’s not about the how or what of Social, it’s about the why and where