Some thoughts on Social Business


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Talk given at Brunel University on Jan 11, 2012 as part of the Social Web module for Computer Science

Published in: Business, Technology

Some thoughts on Social Business

  1. 1. Getting Social… Doing Business Andy Piper | @andypiper | "social bridgebuilder" & Community Lead, IBM
  2. 2. #socbiz #CS3010@andypiper
  3. 3. “Social Business”?
  4. 4. Social business defn #1 (philanthropic)“a social business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed toaddress a social objective within the highly regulated marketplace oftoday.” (Wikipedia/Nobel Laureate Prof. Muhammad Yunus)“ideas, businesses and people who are creating positive socialchange.” (
  5. 5. Social business defn #2 (commercial)“As each company looks to incorporate social networking technologies,it is, in fact, becoming what IBM calls a Social Business.” (“It means that every department, from HR to marketing to productdevelopment to customer service, uses social media the way it usesany other tool and channel to do its job. A company that uses socialnetworking tools fluently to communicate with people inside andoutside the company acts as a Social Business.” (
  6. 6. Let’s talk about… “social” What is “social”?
  7. 7. Social Networking Everything
  8. 8. People are social
  9. 9. Events are social
  10. 10. The Web is Social
  11. 11. Social Media is…?
  12. 12. History
  13. 13. Big Cheese A big Co Department ZVP 1 VP 2Name Name EXEC 1 EXEC 2 Name Name MINOR 2NDARY FROMAGE FROMAGE
  14. 14. Times does that affect a Large Company?
  15. 15.
  16. 16. Pop Quiz!• what communication and collaboration tools do you think we use in business?• name as many technologies, platforms, tools and techniques as you can!
  17. 17. Advice from a colleague:“Get an office and home PC. UsePROFS (the internal messagingsystem); your predecessor didn’t andit showed.”From his first company-wide email:“It wasn’t long after I arrived that Idiscovered on my office PC thatPROFS mail is an important vehicle ofcommunication within IBM. Thanks toall who sent greetings, best wishes,suggestions, and advice.” 1993
  18. 18. 2012
  19. 19. “Social networking applications are not new to business. Most suchapplications fall into three main categories: external relationships withcustomers and brand influences; internal relationships with employeesand partners; and societal relationships with citizens and communities.Many companies and government agencies already have a variety ofapplications in each of these categories, but much remains to be done.We are still in the early days of learning how to best translate our newcollaborative technologies and applications into more effective businessand societal relationships. The issue is not technology, even thoughsocial technologies are still relatively new. The key issue isorganizational capital, that is, the management practices and culturaladjustments needed to enable the organization to deploy and takeadvantage of these new capabilities.”
  20. 20. So - what has really changed?
  21. 21. “It should come as no surprise to anybodythat IBMers are active in social media. Infact, we have, I believe, the single largestcommunity of employees active in socialmedia anywhere on earth. However, to thecasual observer, it can be difficult to reallygrasp our unique approach due to ouremployee-led, intentionally decentralizedmodel for participation…”
  22. 22. We’re on a road to… Gartner Hype Cycle, July 2011 somewhere?
  23. 23. Studies say: everything is “better” - so it must be?
  24. 24. What are the consequences?
  25. 25. TrustEducationGuidance
  26. 26. Spring 2005
  27. 27. Spring 2005 May 2008
  28. 28. Summary: • Follow the BCGs • Take personal responsibility • Include a disclaimer guidelines.html • Don’t cite clients EU + FTC rules! • Don’t pick fights
  29. 29. Social can improve business … but nothing is automatic!
  30. 30. Connect
  31. 31. Image credits• LEGO office• History of communications / social• IBM computer• Quotation backgrounds / British Museum• LEGO business bigger now• Deep water• IBM Blogging Guidelines• LEGO business guy• Others author’s own, or royalty-free and CC-licensed works from and Wikimedia Commons