// what do you think?

The Book

We Need to Completely Rethink How Business Operates Using Social Media

I’ve mentioned the book I’ve been working on. I’ve actually made considerable headway on the weekends (except I can’t come up with a good title to save my life) and thought I’d share my current working summary. I’d love to hear your feedback.

I am looking for examples where social technologies have been used by companies to build trust, retain  knowledge, foster collaboration and spur innovation. If you or your company have any good examples please leave me a comment or shoot me an email: [email protected]

Social Media has brought about a groundswell of change that has swept the business world up in its wake. Antiquated processes, organizational structures and technologies  have kept companies from staying tuned in and engaged with customers and employees, to say nothing about keeping up with smaller, nimbler competitors.

No one can dispute that the Internet has radically reinvented the financial drivers and restraints of  traditional business models. It has lowered almost every barrier to entry in almost every industry. What the Internet has done to business models, the technologies behind social media are doing to the rest of business.

For the first time since the universal adoption of the org chart and the inbox (the physical not the digital one) we have the opportunity to fundamentally rethink how a business is run and what the various stakeholders of a company are and do. Customers don’t just buy products, they are helping companies ideate, design, develop and then sell products. Partnerships between two companies in a supply chain are no longer one dimensional relationships. Partners can also be competitors, customers and shareholders. In the very near future the way we recruit, retain and manage employees today will seem medieval.

The social media revolution is on the verge of creating truly social businesses. This change is being driven by the forces of: Trust, Knowledge, Collaboration & Innovation. These forces have become so important that have become there own form of capital. And like monetary capital they follow the same laws of capitalism and the free market. Until now companies have tried to govern these new forms of capital like a controlled market when what is needed now is a free market approach. Like in a free market, the rights of the owners must be protected but the free trade of capital must not be restricted.

The truly social business will be fully realized when social technologies are leveraged to build collaborative relationships across all company stakeholders.  By leveraging social technologies in an open and transparent way businesses will regain and build more trust among stakeholders. This increased trust is a necessity to creating greater shared knowledge, which the same social technologies have the ability to capture, organize and distribute at a yet to be seen level of efficiency. By building collaborative relationships with all company stakeholders using social technologies, businesses will be able to quickly create and capitalize more innovation.

No business has fully achieved this seemingly radical state but many early revolutionaries have developed pockets of deep expertise and experience. While many companies and their employees believe that the lack of adoption of these new technologies is hindering this quintessential state, the fundamental barriers are the outdated structures and process that have existed inside corporations since before the Internet. It’s time to stamp out the last bastions of resistance and remove those barriers and get out of our own way.

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Photo credit via icedsoul photography

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About Tac

Social media anthropologist. Communications strategist. Business model junkie. Chief blogger here at New Comm Biz.

  • rileybiz

    It sounds like your book will make a real contribution to the understanding and value of social media, however after a lengthy career in business, I not sure you will see the complete socialization of business. While it is already underway in the consumer marketing arena, other segments of business such as B2B will take a lot more education and examples of success in the consumer area before management will consider using social media tools. Blogs will benefit from the general acceptance of websites so people will, in many cases, look upon them more as an extention of websites rather than as a social media tool. As a result, many B2B companies are adding blogs to their websites now.

  • http://www.newcommbiz.com tacanderson

    Social technologies as we understand them today will look very little like they do today when they finally become integrated into the business environment.

    I agree that this is still years to come. Maybe 5 or more before we really see the type of change I'm referring to.

    My last gig was at HP where I did social media first for our small business team then our enterprise sales teams. I can tell you that social media is extremely powerful in B2B, just not as sexy as the consumer stuff.

    Thanks for the comment, please keep them coming.

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