Social Business Facts and Fiction.

The hubris around Social Business is scaling new heights these days, and yet in many ways the concept seems to be redlining to nowhere.  As an example, take a look at this thread on Google Plus by Francine Hardaway. 133 comments later, there’s little agreement on what all of this really is, who the experts are, what it entails and who the buyer is. Foundational elements of anything that you would characterize as a market. With marketers, PR leaders and collaboration specialists racing to lay claim to the movement from their own comfort zone / vantage point, I can only imagine executives getting very confused about what exactly all of this means to their business and if the needed upheaval is even warranted.

In the context of internal collaboration specifically, this report from Charlene Li at The Altimeter Group illustrates just how insufficient the progress has been for general purpose social business in the enterprise. And when you benchmark the technology category of social business software (that includes employee, customer and partner engagement) against say CRM, or BI or ERP, its even more striking how nascent the sector is compared to its predecessors. Yes, I get its about people before technology but tech spend is a good indicator of rubber-meets-the-road market uptake, when it’s all said and done.

I recommend you give the data a good look to see what’s working and what’s not. Some big takeaways for me:

1. We’re still miss firing on what should be big wins, if social business is all that:

 

The report shows that table-stakes benefits of “social” such as expertise finding and the like are not showing up as runaway successes. To be fair, there is realized benefit but given all the options in Fig 5, you would expect to see at least some categories get a “significant impact” rating, six years after Professor Andrew McAfee coined the term Enterprise 2.0 which laid the groundwork for new approaches to connect enterprises.

2. We’re still asking the wrong questions: Casting Social Business as everyones problem makes it no ones problem. There isn’t a single CEO I’ve spoken with (or that you can speak with – I bet you) who would argue that his/her organization should not be collaborative or should not be innovative. But that nebulous intention is really hard to crystalize and delegate without baselining established strategic goals as yardsticks of success when it comes to becoming collaborative or innovative. Promises made to Wall Street come in the form of revenue, earnings and predictability of forward success. Yet we’re still looking at things such as “Encourage Sharing”, “Enable Action”, “Knowledge Capture” and “Empowerment” as end value points via social business. The report does a good job of highlighting what the typical organization considers to be value drivers of “social business” but I think thats exactly the issue here.  If practitioners can’t draw connectors between strategic and tactical objectives and how social networks facilitate execution, end users and executives won’t get experience the needed aha moment.

3. No Context? No Collaboration: The thing that nags me the most about this is that we have an incomplete skill set involved in defining, evangelizing and executing what “social business” (or what ever term you use), entails. No question that we need solid practitioners and community managers to tie it all together and we have some amazing folks in the community without whom all of this would be a non starter. But context points that spark collaboration in the first place lie deep inside functional units – the folks that bring revenue in, ship products, serve customers, build components, close the books. The messaging and potential sources of value presented just won’t keep these people up at night. Those getting work done need to be involved in crafting the value proposition as much as we need “social experts” in the mix so we force the topic of context at the outset and then understand how people, data and process come together.

4. Tactical Measurement:

Altimeter Group Social Business Research

Look, there have been changes in the public social landscape and we need to change what we measure to some degree when it comesto catering to this new social, vocal customer. But beyond that, performance metrics are in place for managers and business units and we need to support those. Figure 6.1 presents a host of tactical metrics that managers are subsumed in that the business just doesn’t care about, in and of themselves. Each of these programatic health measures need to be casted as ways to meet metrics that have been promised to the market. “More and faster collaboration across the company, frequency of use, lowering reliance on email” are hardly things you’re going to hear at your annual shareholders meeting.

This blog is precicely about the value of connecting our emplotees, customers and partners. Obviously, I’m a believer. But lets call a spade a spade if we want to get this right.

I hope this report will serve as a wake up call to many. The first innings of social in the enterprise is over. Those organizations that like to experiment have done so. Beyond those, a small number of executives who innately believe that collaboration is absolutely critical to execution have put their weight behind these programs. Industry colleague Dion Hinchcliffe has been documenting examples of both kinds. But there’s massive untapped opportunity out there to revise the value proposition for those numbers-driven businesses who will want to understand how all of this enhances what they’ve invested in for the last decade. Until then, this massive bucket of executives will treat “social business” as another Mickey Mouse program until they see how it matters to revenue increase, cost reduction and risk mitigation.

On a related note, ZDNet’s Dion Hinchcliffe and Dennis Howlett are going to go to battle on this very topic of value realization tomorrow (Tuesday).

 

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Bob Thompson
Bob Thompson

Are we looking for ROI in all the wrong places? I believe in "social business" -- which to me means simply using social computing technologies for business. These could be used for externally (Social CRM is the popular term) or internally (Enterprise 2.0), but in either case it's about connecting people improve collaboration, engagement and such. This reminds me a bit of CEM -- Customer Experience Management -- which took quite some time to catch hold. Eventually, the business cases were built that showed CX leaders outperformed laggards. I did one of those studies in 2006, and many more since then have helped convince business leaders that an investment will pay off in the long term in the form of higher customer loyalty and advocacy. Later, some companies were happy to find they could also save money (unhappy customers don't call for service as often). So now, there's a groundswell of support for CEM because the market has accepted that ROI is achievable and there are ways to make the business case work for CEOs and CFOs. But in the end, CEM is still a "soft" initiative. Business leaders that insist upon a rigorous ROI are probably not going to invest, unless they see an immediate cost savings or revenue lift. And it simply doesn't work that way for most businesses.. Such leaders are more app to invest in process automation (CRM, ERP, BPM) or analytics where they can get a return in a year or less. Easier to show the ROI, but less transformational in my view. Social Business is like CEM in that the early adopters are the "true believers" that sense the opportunity, but aren't worried about proving the ROI just yet. They are willing to take some risk. By the time the industry figures out how to "sell" Social Business to followers, the leaders will have reaped the rewards and moved on to something else. So, that's a long way of saying that maybe there is too much emphasis in proving that Social Business will deliver an ROI, and not enough promoting it as a transformational strategy. Granted it's harder to sell software, but it will appeal to business leaders looking for an edge. Of course, the #socbiz industry needs to continue to build the business cases, too. All that said, I think the bigger application for social technologies will be embedded in existing systems. Granted that doesn't help sell new licenses of Jive or Yammer for horizontal application. Social will be like that spice that makes all foods taste just a little bit better! Bob Thompson www.CustomerThink.com

Ed Nadrotowicz
Ed Nadrotowicz

Another well done piece by Sameer. Imagine being in a C-level executive in position to choose between 20 different projects to invest your company's capital. One of these is an E20 project. The E20 project has benefits like increased sharing, increased collaboration, adoption, etc. The remaining 19 projects show direct top or bottom line impacts and 10 of those far outstrip the others on traceable ROI. Where are you going to spend your company's time and money? I've got it - adopt a stance of getting it all by collaborating on delivering the top 10 and sharing the benefits!

Ryan McCormack
Ryan McCormack

Thanks for a thoughtful post, Sameer...Sometimes I think there's a bit of an echochamber effect with social technologies/platforms/practices, so it's always good to have someone take a step back. At the risk of getting into a semantic debate (which you allude to a bit above), I think there is a difference between "Social business" (what you're talking about) and "Enterprise Social Networking" (which is what the Altimeter report was about). While there are no agreed-upon definitions, social business to me encompasses a general philosophy of social interactions related to business (e.g., with customers and between employees). Enterprise social networking is about interactions within the walls of an enterprise. I would argue that a company could implement enterprise social networks, but still not be a "social business" in the way they interact with their customers. While challenges associated with enterprise social networking do have implications for social business, I think one should be careful in generalizing the report's conclusions to the broader topic.

deb louison lavoy
deb louison lavoy

A couple of things here.  1. Its been my observation that it takes about two years for a community to become firmly established. How many firms have been using social - really using it  - for two years? 2. Many business problems are business problems - social approaches can help, but if you are a directionless company, becoming a socially enabled directionless company doesn't solve the problem of engagement or collaboration. "Greater understanding of the company goals" for example, might be a reflection on the fact that they are, in fact murky, rather than poorly communicated. 3. Social business is an unfortunate and very badly defined term. Most nasty business problems require more than culture and technology to be solved - the require leadership, vision, serious thought, and significant effort. There are not "social business" problems that "social business" applications solve. There are more social approaches to existing business problems. The metrics above may or may not be indicative of success or failure of a different approach to solving problems and viewing a workforce. They don't really compare a strictly command and control vs orchestrating shared effort, intellect, and resources toward a common goal. Perhaps the metrics we should be looking for is performance relative to industry peers. Rate of execution relative vs x years ago, velocity of change, and overall customer and employee satisfaction scores. I'm not certain that these are the right metrics, but I agree that the ones above seem a bit weak. 

Marty Thompson
Marty Thompson

I'm a bit late to the party, but wanted to contribute. As someone who worked in the ERP space (SAP), CRM, eCommerce, and knowledge management (former product marketing manager), perhaps I take a bit more of a pragmatic approach to what is happening. Some companies that I think have the right approach to using social technologies first try to identify the gaps in their current technology mix from a strategic perspective. How are we failing in areas of collaboration, both internally and externally? What are our weaknesses when it comes to selling, and then retaining customers? Other examples abound, but my point is that there is no conceivable reason for any organization of practically any size to not be using social right now. Any marketer worth their weight in salt understands that social is part of a much bigger recipe that includes SEO, content, et al. It is all interconnected. The key is to understand where it can provide value. And those potential value points exist in every organization. Just looking at the historical rise and evolution of ERP and CRM should tell us that this whole social thing has provided much more value, much more quickly. The same arguments were being made all along the painful march to what we now use as milestones of efficiency. 

Laurence Lock Lee
Laurence Lock Lee

Funny...as I was reading the Altimeter report I could swear that I had read it before, except the title was "Knowledge Management Systems" and it was over a decade ago. The issues are identical in my view, though I suspect others may differ....but essentially the message is the same. In the KM space the metrics argument still continues....still lots of articles on measuring intangibles e.g. http://www.emeraldinsight.com/journals.htm?issn=1469-1930....but not much joy on the adoption front. My take on this is that its not sufficient to dream up new measures and then to convince mainstream management that they are better ones than what they are using now. We have to somehow build the bridges between the social business measures we are designing and the measures that they understand now viz...efficiency, effectiveness, innovation. As a simple example, most executives would agree that when staff trust each other (reciprocated interactions) the impact is greater efficiency. Also when we have experts who who interact strongly with each other, as opposed to experts who work independent of each other, one would expect greater effectiveness. When we have the R&D people interacting heavily with the operations and marketing folks we can expect more successful new products and services. We need to tie these particular collaboration patterns to mainstream business metrics. The common frequency use measures for ESNs are far too aggregated to be of any real use in predicting business performance. And they don't measure relationships, only single entity activity. I have a couple of articles with Open Knowledge in the HBR Italia last year on these concepts, but for those who don't read Italian, there are some pre-release versions in English on our web site: http://www.optimice.com.au/publications.php

Charlene Li
Charlene Li

Sameer: I enjoyed seeing your takeaways from the report, and especially this holistic point of view: "Those getting work done need to be involved in crafting the value proposition as much as we need “social experts” in the mix so we force the topic of context at the outset and then understand how people, data and process come together." Thanks for spurring the dialog -- I'm looking forward to continuing it with you and others! 

Fred McClimans
Fred McClimans

Thanks, Sameer, for putting some excellent perspective on "social business" (a term that will continue to vex people for years to come). While I think we would all agree that the use of social technologies will continue to change the way we conduct business, your post (and the Altimeter report) indicate to me that too many people are jumping into an ocean without realizing just how deep or far it is to the other shore (or even which direction they should be swimming). For many (pt 4), it's all about engagement, collaboration and "activity" - and they measure those accordingly. But those aren't end goals, they are only a means to an end (a leaner, faster, more profitable firm). That said, I think that the most important thing right now that firms can, and should be concerned with, is looking at how the injection of social into a firm changes human behavior. Figure that out, and then you can determine the most effective way to harness social to reach the "leaner, faster, more profitable" state. Being a social business isn't about being social everywhere, it's about using social in the right ways. Thanks again for a great read.

jacobmorgan
jacobmorgan

We conducted a similar report at the end of last year (and will be doing another one this year) with a larger sample size comprised of mainly leaders/decision makers at orgs.  While some of the things showed a trend.  Biggest thing we found is what we called a "value paradox," that is leaders are expecting to see things but not doing what is required to see those things.  I.e. expecting to see value such is improved processes or communication yet not defining and continuously measuring KPIs that would show them if these things are actually happening.   We also found that the majority of companies have less than 50% of their targeted employee base engaged.  22% of our respondents came from companies over 25k+ employeesHere is the full report for anyone interested:http://www.chessmediagroup.com/resource/state-of-enterprise-2-0-collaboration/ Happy to mail a copy directly as well to whoever wants to read it.

Ana Silva
Ana Silva

"If practitioners can’t draw connectors between strategic and tactical objectives and how social networks facilitate execution, end users and executives won’t get experience the needed aha moment". Sameer, somehow this quote just reminded me of The Deloitte Center for the Edge report on "Social Software for Business Performance (The missing link in social software: Measurable business performance improvements)” and the famous discussion around social software in the enterprise and business processes. Could that be the key to tying in social networks and performance in a more concrete way: identify operational pain points and apply social software capabilities (including social networking ones) to help deal with them?

Christopher Morace
Christopher Morace

Sameer, a thoughtful post as always.  Candidly, you had me hooked from your initial link to the Google+ thread.  Somehow that one thread sums up everything that is so powerfully great in social and also exposes the points most in need of maturity in a very young space.  People are mistaken that the power of social is to give everyone a voice where everyone is an “expert” because they have an internet connection. The promise of social is to connect the right people to the right perspective and information at the right time to better enable decision making and action.  If the context, or the person, or the timing is off even slightly then it simply becomes noise.  Noise is what I hear right now in and around this space.  Charline Li’s research that you linked to has widely been picked up in the general press as evidence for “social networks failing to meet expectations”.   Yet the report is entitled, “Making the Business Case for Enterprise Social Networking”. Yes, perhaps the number of people surveyed was too small and the types of businesses surveyed spanned demographically unique perspectives, but it provides some very pragmatic suggestions for how businesses new to social technologies can avoid common missteps.   And I think there are concerns about benchmarking the relative maturity of this space against well understood areas like ERP, CRM, and BI. ERP was first pioneered by IBM back in the 70’s. (I was implementing it in the 90’s and I can tell you it took a leading hard drive manufacturer 30 days to run one MRP report…the inventories would be completely different before the report came back.  It has come a long way in even the last 20 years.)  CRM first started being bandied about in the 80’s.  Gartner started talking about BI in the 80’s, but conceptually it had been discussed since the 50’s. So, I wonder, what will Social Business look like 30 years from now? In 2042?  It is hard to even imagine.  I would suggest that we might be spending too much time debating what our precocious 5 year old is going to be when she grows he up and demanding that she act like an adult now.  I’ve never seen a space explode as quickly as this one has.  I’ve never seen so many companies realize so much value with such an early stage of the technology.  I think a lot of the frustration that the thought leadership community feels in this space is due to the fact that it is evolving (and getting communicated) more quickly than anyone can snapshot .  At Jive, we are one vendor among many and we already have over 100 customers (logos you would recognize) who have agreed to go on the record with their case studies detailing out sustained value and proven ROI. (Dennis, I’m looking forward to your debate this afternoon, but hope you’ll take the opportunity to swing by the office the next time you are in the States! I’d love to have the team share with you what we are seeing.) So, I’d agree, we are in the early innings. With that said, I think even at this stage the value proven out by social business is astounding.  It only feels small when compared to the potential. There is still important work to do.  To your point we need to measure the right things, we need to think about value the right way, and we need to understand this powerful technology in terms of how it furthers the business objectives and not as an end unto itself.  I think as the platforms mature, as value chains connect together, as the promise of big data analytics and social network/graph analysis help us literally rise above the noise that many of these discussions will also quiet down.  Like every technology wave before it from personal computers, to internet, to email, to ERP/CRM, to ecommerce it will become the new baseline for business.   Thanks for your continued efforts to provide clarity in such a fast moving and exciting space.

John Stepper
John Stepper

I'm with you. We are not even close to recognizing the commercial value of what we're preaching.  We're onto the right ideas, but we're failing to engage enough businesses in meaningful ways. We're allowing ourselves, as practitioners, to be marginalized. To be limited to comms & HR & unmeasurables.  We can and must do better. 

Mike Boysen
Mike Boysen

Sameer, this is a great post. As you said, now that we're out of the early innings, I hope more people will be able to hear voices like yours. It's been a challenging 3 years, or so, as the hype of Social Business has overwhelmed the common sense we need to take the next step forward. It's time to take a look inside at how value can be created, instead of trying the next new technology alone. 

Esteban Kolsky
Esteban Kolsky

Sameer, Brilliant as usual -- could've summarized the whole thing in one paragraph, your second point.  Correlation is the basis for success here, and no one has yet (even if you show me the few case studies whee supposedly it happened -- I bet I can prove otherwise) driven any direct cause-effect or correlation of any sorts between collaboration - innovation - social and a better working business.  At least not in metrics that can be trusted. Excellent dude, just great.

Greg Lowe (@Greg2dot0)
Greg Lowe (@Greg2dot0)

My personal feeling is that we are limiting the discussion by including the word "social". Let's be fair, how would you sell e-mail today without the intrinsic benefits we all just know? Would it be 98% of our employees sent an e-mail today? I find much of my value identification is not by looking inside of tools, but inside of businesses to understand how these tools are being leveraged to enhance businesses.

itsinsider
itsinsider

Hi Sameer.  I looked at this report, but felt instantly that it wasn't representative of what is going on in the large enterprise (>10K employees).  (Of course, this is where I've historically been focused.)  I've always felt that if the G2000 is embracing social business, everyone else will follow.  This study was a small sample, with vendors and smaller companies participating.    The business gains our members are experiencing are rooted in profitability and returns to the shareholder.  Our members are not always eager to share their state secrets, as well.  Within certain industries, intelligence around how they're leveraging social technologies and practices has become a competitive asset.  I agree the first few innings are over, but these are the big leagues. Much more is at stake besides winning arguments on the social web. 

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks Ryan. Honestly? I dont think the market can bear nuances between social this and social that. All of this needs to have one purpose it stands for. When its hard to peg down the applicability for buyers, the last thing you want is multiple flavors to add to the inherent complexity.  I think the report does a good job in one particular aspect: its exposes problems that have existed for a while and gives new interested parties a checklist of potential pitfalls to plan for and solve for, early.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Great insight. Re: Metrics - I like your suggestion about using industry benchmarks for performance improvement, in addition to company specific metrics. Both those are a much better blueprint vs inward facing new metrics that measure how social you are (which few appreciate).

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Superb, @llocklee. A good chunk of "social analytics" designs are also (sadly) following the old #socbiz formula

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks for the comment, @CharleneLI:twitter . Yep, so much work still to be done. Such a great time to be doing what we do.:)  Look forward to continuing the dialog as well.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks Fred. My sense is that we'll see a move towards this very soon. 

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks for the comment, Jacob. We're (finally) at the start of establishing metrics that matter which is great.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks for the comment, Ana. This notion of aligning the value of social and collaborative approaches to core objectives has been around since at least 2009. Its great that Deloitte is using its reach to promote a similar message. And its not surprising - given the typical client that Deloitte would deal with, this line of thinking is imperative.  I agree with your assertion, above re: operational pain points. More important than what I think, you know whats great? More and more practitioners are now shedding notions around social business that have commanded the airwaves and designing their own contextual programs around social business that take into account significant alignment with operational and financial objectives. 

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Awesome stuff, Chris. I'm in general agreement. I was afraid that his post would come off as a pooh pooh on social business, instead of it being one of many calls to up level the game. I've bet my career on the the value of social and collaborative approaches so I'm as vested as anyone to see this succeed.  This isn't really for someone like you - you know this all to well but its an expansion of my take in the original post:With respect to value created, Im with you. At every subsequent E20 conference I've showcased those customer stories and many many of those examples included Jive customers. That said, I hope we get closer to making a stronger value proposition for those organizations that havent jumped on the bandwagon, as well as for those where these efforts have largely gone unsponsored and practitioners are struggling to make a go at it from just a "social business" vantage point. They need executive buy in and core process knowledge to unhinge business activity thats been overly routined to show the power of connecting people.  My use of other technology categories as benchmarks was a way to make a another plea that we up our game. As an example - it took Seibel Systems 7 years (from 1993 - 2000) to get to $1 billion in revenue. Our entire industry is ways away from that run rate, 5-6 years in. So as much as we'd like to fall back on the "its early" line of thinking, we can do a lot to push the boundaries on how we frame the value prop, to compliment the normal course of maturity.  Again, great objective insight. Thanks a lot for adding another dimension to this discussion. 

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

I hope we get there soon. The tectonic shifts that businesses are facing these days require all good execution ideas. I believe that there are many decisive points where a credible business case can be made.   Thanks for the comment.  

Walter Adamson
Walter Adamson

"to be limited" not to mention "Knowledge Management" and E2.0! Everyone has their hand up to own social which is one reason that the core intent gets diluted and marginalized - it ends up being interesting to many across an organisation but essential to few.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

The thing is I do believe that the fundamental principles and intent of whats behind #SocBiz is solid.  But the palatable version of this (that most buyers would warm up to) wont come from thin air cover value propositions. The bridge to get them to the promise land requires an intimate understanding how their broken tasks/processes are well...broken before you have the currency to suggest a fix. In practical terms thats a partner ship between those who understand how collaboration works and those who have seen unnecessarily tight process controls fail over and over again.We will see this next version play out in 2012 and 2013. May not be called Social Business but the underlying value will start to be delivered. The train has left the station. Thanks for the comment and kind words, Mike.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thank you, Esteban. Organizations, and in turn executives, already have performance objectives that keep them up at night. As soon as we lose the religion and start to feed directly into those existing currents, the flood gates will open. Alternatively, we can continue to play salmon. :)

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Great, Greg. Not that you asked for one but keep at it would be my suggestion.

Hyoun Park
Hyoun Park

I agree on the large enterprise part. At Aberdeen, we've identified a top 10% of companies that both "get" social and are accelerating both projects and sales cycles as a result. These 10% are disproportionately at the 10K+ employee level and the Under 250 employee level using social to be multinational. Most companies that can accelerate sales by 10% with a tool that only a handful of their competitors have mastered will try to keep this a secret. We've yet to "cross the chasm" with the most valuable use cases, which is why there are few good public examples. However, I disagree that the rest of the world will follow what the G2000 does. Mid-market organizations are constructed very differently; they are out-flanked in resources by large enterprises, often have the DNA of small startups, and are more comfortable with remote autonomy (for better or for worse). It makes them less social even though they have the needs for Social Business. It seems counterintuitive to me, even though three studies and 200+ organizations in this mid-market area seem to at least be directionally relevant. But being the grumpy one who says that "business is not kindergarten" and "here are the solid business metrics associated with Social Business" often feels like smacking my head against the wall.  And, as we all know, Dennis Howlett is much better at being the grumpy one. ;)  After following online social tools for 15 years, I keep telling myself every year that this will be the year when we as an industry start talking about Social Business like grownups and stop saying things like "people just want and need to share things with each other".

Dennis Howlett
Dennis Howlett

@Susan:disqus  - we hear this a lot but where is the documented evidence of sustainable value? Not kidding - not seen it.

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

"Much more is at stake besides winning arguments on the social web. " - Agree. To be fair, I dont think any of the constituencies are in it to win the arguments. Other biases exist but there is a genuine desire to make it work by those in PR, in marketing or collaboration. .  I've seen my fair share of succeses as well and the last few posts here have cited many of those. That said Im still convinced that jamming social down the throats of a good chunk of organizations wont be the way to get the point across to them. (Not saying your implying that we do that.) Thanks for the comment. :)

jacobmorgan
jacobmorgan

True, but different metrics matter to different companies.  TELUS uses employee engagement which they define as how connected the employee feels to the company and how fulfilled and happy they are at work.  Some companies look at engagement as a form as "busy metrics" such as comments, groups created, ideas submitted etc, and then we have companies that look at nothing!

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Agree, it can be so much more. But its being overcomplicated. As I said on Twitter yesterday, Social Business is the first e.g. in the history of software innovation where the pundits/consultants have obfuscated simple technology. Generally its the other way around. Thanks for the comment, Walter.

Mike Boysen
Mike Boysen

I've always had a problem with the term social business. Solutions need to be tied to specific problems, or needs. I think we'll see these future successes coming out of smaller value creation initiatives that solve these problems and can actually be measured and clearly understood.  Collaboration has always been around to solve problems. I'm guessing before "social" it wasn't as scalable. But, just because that has changed, doesn't mean one-size fits all.I'm looking forward to seeing a better focus within the fire hose and a realignment as to who the real "experts" are. You're one of them.

Esteban Kolsky
Esteban Kolsky

drawn butter, little toasted sage -- nothing wrong with salmon (unless you are the animal in question)

Sameer Patel
Sameer Patel

Thanks.  Re: Experts - I stand on the shoulders of giants who have been putting out practical messages re: #socbiz for a long time.  Sadly, in our industry, those giant's voices get drowned out. Some are thinkers, others are doers. I try to bring attention to them on his blog as often as I can (as do others) but more can be done. 

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