Taking the leap: Social Business Design

Back in January I wrote that it was time for Social Media to grow up, and just a few months ago I reflected on the need to think bigger when talking Enterprise 2.0. The problem this presents however is the need for larger framework that not only supersedes these concepts, but leverages and helps to grow them.

Finally my colleagues and I are starting to talk publicly about what we think the next step for social+business is and why it is going to be a critical advantage to organizations who make the leap. I have joined a company currently known as the Dachis Group (name TBD) as a Senior Partner.

Working with Peter Kim, Kate Niederhoffer, David Armano and Jeff Dachis we have started to engage with clients (and our own business) on what we call Social Business Design. Social Business Design is the first (as far as I can tell) effort to completely unite both the strategic and implementation components of a new kind of business. Social Businesses are those which are designed from top to bottom as a reflection of the world we all live in online today. A business were everyone is connected and able to contribute but also where the right tools are available to them to do all of this with a business intent from the beginning.

Because it is never as simple as “re designing a business”, we have developed four major archetypes which act as lenses and frameworks for understanding the current organization and to evaluate what components are missing in order to become a social business. This means that we can start at either the tactical or the strategic, but no matter where it begins we are always contributing to the long term vision of a new kind of organization.

Social Businesses are fundamentally different from those we know today, and they benefit from a new kind of output: Emergent outcomes. In developing our approach to Social Business Design, we have made measurement and monitoring a major priority and that has meant that we will finally be able to quantify and understand the benefit of emergent and unanticipated outcomes. We will also be able to identify and track them extremely early on.

Through the Ecosystem archetype, we can understand who the constituents of the business are and where they can find value individually and together as a whole. The Hiveminded archetype allows us to evaluate the tendency for those in the organization to work together, and it helps us design software and tools which are predisposed to collaboration. Metafilter helps us understand how and when people use the resources available to them and how we can help them make smarter decisions in real time.

The final archetype of Social Business Design is the Dynamic Signal, and it is what I have been thinking about the most lately. The concept that every activity and action is recorded and made available, that every piece of data goes from being a database entry and is instead an event. An event which can be managed, shared and collaborated on by all of those in the organization. This got me thinking about a concept from decades past: The Real Time Enterprise.

I have posted some thoughts on the impact of the Dyanmic Signal over on the FastForwardBlog and I will be posting more dives in to the impact of each archetype as we move forward. For more thinking on Social Business Design and what it means, read more of what the rest of the team has been thinking:

And you can visit our temporary company site here where we will continue to add links to Social Business Design thinking.

4 thoughts on “Taking the leap: Social Business Design

  1. Jevon – Well, congratulations on this, I’d say you have joined a winning team, but that seems all too evident. That’s fantastic – I hope this help you to magnify your voice and skills even further than you already had.

    We really do need to catch up – it’s been far too long.

    Stay sane, and again, congrats!


  2. My company just implemented Socialtext as an intranet and extranet. I see a lot of your patterns reflected in the socialtext system: ecosystem (People module), dynamic signals (signals module), metafilters (wiki platform that tracks who is creating and working on what, and all that info is searchable), and hivemindedness (embedding team workflows inside the socialtext system).

    I appreciate your thoughts on Social Business Design.

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