I had a great chat with friend and advisor Gil Yehuda on the topic of social business prior to my presentation at the American Marketing Association. The topic of “what makes a business social” came up during which Gil imparted his usual bit of wisdom with the following quote:
“All businesses have always been social; what’s new is the set of observable behaviors and available technologies that enable businesses to leverage these to solve business problems.”
Really, what we are seeing with anything and everything “social” can be broken down to two things: changes in culture and changes in technology. That’s it. Businesses have always had customer communities, employee communities, and partner/supplier communities. Social business is often talked about as a new entity that’s going to emerge from the smoke and rubble as a new supreme organization with a flat structure, but is that really going to happen? It’s hard to say I think but let’s be honest, that’s definitely a stretch (Gil thinks this isn’t going to happen).
Social Business isn’t a state, it’s the acknowledgement that culture and technology has changed, and that organizations can leverage these changes to solve the same business problems that they have always had and will always have.