Social Business Design. The Enterprise is Dead. Long Live the Enterprise.

by Jeff Dachis 09 Nov 2009 Blog Post

Social Business Design is Dead: Experience Management BlogRecently, I was offered the opportunity to share some ideas at the Enterprise 2.0 Conference in San Francisco. It was great to see so many smart people with good ideas and am happy to have had the opportunity to participate. The presentation (below) contained a lot of material for the time slot I was given, and I wasn’t able to do any Q&A, so feel free to leave constructive comments here…(Photo courtesy of Alex Dunne)

Despite the interesting discussion at the conference and evidence of progress being made through groups like The 2.0 Adoption Council, we are seeing many companies struggle with focusing their organizations and positioning themselves for success in today’s networked economy. They inherently see the opportunities, but are confronting issues both big and small, bumping into problems with what to do and how to get it done.

  • Defining a comprehensive plan addressing culture change, process change, and technology implementation.
  • Approaching customer participation and engagement in a strategic way by integrating it into existing work flows while shifting to a more participatory company culture.
  • Making workforce collaboration a reality by defining a change management program, choosing and integrating the right technology, and migrating to more fluid, agile business processes.

Businesses struggle with how to define and measure the results that enable them to get commitment for resources to execute.

This isn’t easy, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth doing.

Often, problems aren’t due to a lack of technology, but arise due to a lack of comprehensive strategy needed to address the cultural and business process implications while implementing the right technology solution.

Sometimes it is as simple as delivering a workshop on guiding policy and governance or developing a social business metrics measurement strategy.  Often, its more complex.

Let us know your thoughts, we’d be happy to help.

  • Rob Paterson

    This is a really great slide deck that I think puts forward neatly where we have to go. In particular, I think that you have nailed the design – the concentric circles of influence and power.

    The aspect of your discourse that I still struggle with though is what I see as a core assumption – that a well crafted argument may change people’s thinking.

    No one would accuse Rupert Murdoch of being stupid. But it is clear, that just as the Pope would not accept Galileo’s Helio Centric POV – in spite of the rational evidence – he will not accept any of what you show.

    I don’t think that the barrier is one of rational comprehension but of cultural impediments.

    For me, the challenge is what to do in the face of this huge aspect of denial. We see it in the healthcare debate right now in another form of how dogma gets in the way of doing the right thing.

    I don’t pretend to have the answer to the cultural barrier – other than to look at history. Luther made it with both popular support helped by the printing press and by acts of the church to line its own pockets and by making a deal with the North German Princes (getting institutional support) who got freedom from Rome and the Emperor)

    Today we have the support of the people for the same reasons that Luther had.

    If you at Dachis can get a few major institutions to go along, then I think the old will topple.

    The trick then is to find the right “princes”. I think that at NPR the hiring of Vivian Schiller was the key and in TV the move to KETC of Jack Galmiche. My bet is that it will boil down to a few individuals.

    What is happening is that their actions, successes and so stories are affecting the larger group who find all of this next to impossible. As their influence spreads so the momentum picks up and the resistance gets weaker. I do fear though a last stand along the way.

    I would love to see more from your team on the cultural barrier – I think that you have the firepower to make a big difference in addressing this aspect

    • Jeff Dachis

      Thanks for the comment Rob,

      You are right pointing out the cultural barrier as a huge one, but don’t overlook comprehension either…

      I recently heard that 50% of a recent global consulting firms multi-million dollar budget and project schedule for the implementation of a collaboration platform was dedicated to cultural change management.

      This is not by accident, but through a realization that culture, process and technology have to be brought together in a cohesive strategy.

      I appreciate you taking the time to put forward your thoughts.

      • Rob Paterson

        Is not culture the root of comprehension – that is the meaning that I am imputing?

        There has been a good debate in the last week about how each POV (Cultural Bias) looked at the election results and both saw what they wanted.

        The new buzz here is the word “Social” – many say that “Social” has no place in a business setting.

        Or Rupert Murdoch seeking to wall up access to his titles. It’s easy to see the other side as bad people. But I think that they have a cultural screen in place that means that they just cannot comprehend what we are saying and we cannot understand their resistance.

        Some suggest dropping the word “social” – others suggest weakening the offer to make it easier to swallow.

        But I am wondering – can we deconstruct the cultural screens? Can we make an offer that will preserve the integrity of the better thinking but penetrate the barrier?

  • Martijn Linssen

    Tnx Jeff, nice one! Was kind of lost at the end, but scanning it again produces a clear overview.

    The Hivemind and Dynamic Signal could benefit from some further explanation, so does the Metafilter. I agree that we should turn data into information, and then remove the “information porn”, but how?

    Overall, helpfull expansion on non-IT and society. Some people seem to still be worrying about “how will this help me enter an order faster?”…

    Just reading Dennis Howlett’s last post on E2.0 as well btw, will send him this way ;-)

    Keep up the good work,

    Martijn Linssen

    • Jeff Dachis

      Thanks Martijn!

  • John Boudreau

    Some great points made here. It always boils down to people, process and tools.