Tuesday, March 1, 2011

What does Social Business mean?

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There's been tons of buzz around social business, social media, social marketing, social software, Web2.0 for Business, Enterprise 2.0, and all the other keywords out there. Is it a fad? No. It's here to stay and it's here to transform organizations. Ok. So now you say: "Transform organizations... that sounds nice, but ..." Aha! I know what you are going to ask me: "What's the real business value behind it?" You are probably concerned that "Social Business" just means bringing a Facebook-like tool into your enterprise where your employees are going to do what? Play games? Post photos of that party? Share videos about cats (or other cute animals)? Note: I'm not a cat person, but cats do seem to be popular out there.

IBM's Vice President for Social Business & Lotus Sales and Evangelism, Sandy Carter, sums it up well. A Social Business:

  1. embraces networks of people - It's not about B2B or B2C. It's about P2P (person-to-person) to create business value.
  2. is engaged and has conversations online with its customers, employees, suppliers and embraces
  3. is transparent and is ready to be open to ideas and capitalize on those
  4. removes boundaries both inside and outside so that your people reflect your brand
  5. is nimble because they are engaged and transparent (see #2 and #3 above) and can make quicker business decisions

These characteristics lead to accelerated innovation and stronger business results and are reflective of standout organizations in their respective industries.

By now, you've attended Lotusphere 2011 #ls11 or maybe even watched the live replays of the keynotes. And after watching the video above you are now convinced that you must become a Social Business. But how do you go about doing that? Sandy Carter had a great session at Lotusphere which explained this. Sandy created a framework called the Social Business Agenda: a 6-step process on the steps you need to take to become a Social Business. Of course, the 3 minute video doesn't do justice to her 1 hour presentation at Lotusphere, but it's a great introduction into the concepts.

If you want to learn more, Sandy Carter is going to be hosting a webcast this Thursday March 3rd, 2011 along with Jeremiah Owyang from Altimeter Group. The webcast is titled Why Be Social? If you are not following Jeremiah Owyang, I strongly encourage you to do so. He always has insightful information he's sharing in his blog. To register for this week's webcast, click here.

I would also like to know, do you think there's anything missing in her plan?

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