I guess the Dachis folks are getting some push back on the use of the 'social business' and 'social business design' handles to characterize the impacts of social tools on business.
[via Defining Social Business Design: Style vs. Substance by Peter Kim]
For the most part, people understand that we're talking about what's on the horizon for business. However, most detractors seem to take issue with the style of the idea's communication rather than its substance. Some say they don't understand. I'll take that at face value and suggest they try harder. Others ask why simpler words weren't used. Well, as a certain bald-headed guru told me, "words matter."
Some new terms take a lot of persuading before they become lodged in the zeitgeist, like Web 2.0 and social tools, in the past ten years. But, now, on balance, we can see that these ideas have helped to characterize what is going on: to clarify, not to confuse.
Many people are naturally reluctant to adopt what might just be specious terms, especially after being subjected to 'knowledge management' projects, or asked to 'think out of the box' at company offsites, or being barraged with market speak by a word-happy advertising culture.
But I believe that words, and even more importantly, metaphors, matter. How we choose to name things makes a difference.
Unlike Peter Kim and his associates at Dachis, I might have been more metaphorical and less riveted down in my prose for a social business description than Peter was in his post today, and in the earlier group post (see Social Business Design). Of course, they are advancing a more complex picture -- social business design, and its moving parts -- while I am simply sketching out the anthropology of the thing.
Since I am doing a ten minute sprint presentation on social business at tomorrow's 140 Character conference, here's my handwave.
'Social Business' denotes businesses organized around social ties and the use of social technologies to support them.
This is intended to represent a break between companies (in general) organized prior to the rise of the social web.
Leaving aside any implied methods for designing, building, or even managing such organizations, I offer a few one-liners to try to capture the essential elements of these organizations. I don't want to undercut my 10 minutes of glory, so here's a few teasers:
- the individual is the new group
- business is a village, not an army
- small talk is big again
- meaning is the new search
- time is the new space
- flow is the new center