Social – You’ve been doing it all along!

I eluded to the word ‘Social’ going away sooner than we may think in another post and I truly believe it will before too long.  Many factors lead me to believe but I’ll touch on two of them here.

  1. Executives don’t like the word. It scares them into believing that employees are playing and not being productive
  2. It will be the norm of how we collaborate and do business.  ‘Social Business’ will lose its buzz and it will just be how we get work done.

The second one doesn’t need much explaining.  As it become more common to use an Enterprise Social Software like Jive, IBM Connections or Yammer, it will just be the way we get things done.  No one will talk about using a ‘social’ network, it will be just the way it is.

The first point is one that I see and hear more and more as I talk to customers and have online conversations.  But I’m hear to tell you, you’ve been ‘doing social’ all along.  It’s now just moving to a digital format.  Need proof?

  1. Emails/Meetings = Discussion Forums – As we move to a ‘Social Collaboration’ way of work, discussion forums will replace emails and meetings.  What you used to do sitting face to face or replying back in forth in emails will be done in a Forum that allows anyone else to join the conversation that wasn’t on the email string or in the meeting.
  2. Rolodex/Phone book = Online Profiles – While you may still have your trusty old rolodex on your desk, online profiles like LinkedIn or other social profiles are replacing this old way of thinking.  Showing your expertise and connecting with others allows you to find the resources you need and them to find you.  It opens up networking to a whole new level.  I’ve personally found developers that I’ve used for a project based on an endorsement from someone else or a quick search of their profile.
  3. Team building/Goals reached = Gamification – This is one of the words that really makes people hate social.  But think about this one for a moment.  We are all competitive by nature.  We all want to reach goals, some just are more driven then others.  But when is the last time you had a team building activity and you ‘rewarded’ the winners of the exercise?  What about the last time your Sales team reached their quarterly goals, did you take them out to a nice lunch and celebrate?  Or you closed that big deal that just put you to the next level.  You cracked open the champagne and toasted everyone, right??  Yeah, Gamification.  Instead of instant rewards for sharing knowledge and displaying badges for reaching certain thresholds, you were giving out awards for their desk or expensive lunches.

These are just 3 examples but I’m telling you, you have been a ‘Social Collaborative Business’ is all along.  Now we are just using the technology that is out there.  I’d love to hear other example of how you’ve been a Social Business.

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