Social business, and its companion/forebear, Enterprise 2.0, have successfully penetrated the halls of organizations around the world. The adoption is far from complete, and the jobs-to-be-done by social business are evolving. But the trend lines point to continued expansion of social business.
With the passage of time, it is possible to reflect on the key value propositions of social business. The list below is not intended to be the complete, final word. But it shines a light on several important reasons companies are increasing their use of social principles to operate their businesses.
Meritocracy trumps hierarchy:
Companies don’t get a “pass” on Wall Street or the London Exchange because they’re been around way before new companies. Political candidates aren’t immune from being upended when they don’t perform. Why should work be any different? Companies that focus on the meritocracy are focused on growth. Those that pay too much attention to hierarchy are limiting their growth.
Knowledge and ideas want to be free:
When you learn something new, ever feel the urge to share it? When you know something that can help, don’t you want to answer a question? When you have an idea, isn’t it great to bounce off others? From a behavioral and technological perspective, we want knowledge and ideas to be free. Why lock ‘em down?
Cognitive surplus must be a competitive advantage:
Cognitive surplus – knowledge, perspectives, heuristics – is perhaps one of the most wasted assets organizations have. Each person’s surplus can be applied to a much greater range of problems and opportunities than what defines the daily tasks of her day. It’s a shame if employees go home every day without going beyond their job titles at the office.
Social and interest graphs generate positive returns:
Activity streams, notifications, public interest spaces, recommendations – these new tools are exposing people to a greater range of relevant information than ever before. We’re not limited to our immediate cubicle neighbors. We are part of larger social and interest graphs. This increases the diversity of inputs, which increases our own, and organizational, odds of finding optimal solutions.
Transparency raises organizational IQ:
When the left hand knows what the right hand is doing, we operate more effectively. Knowing the different initiatives, information and problems affecting other parts of the organization makes us better prepared in our own work. Operating in a vacuum sucks, because you get knocked over hard by things you don’t know. Transparency of information and conversations makes everyone smarter in their own work.
Don’t miss an article (3,950+) – Subscribe to our RSS feed and join our Innovation Excellence group!
Hutch Carpenter is the Vice President of Product at Spigit. Spigit integrates social collaboration tools into a SaaS enterprise idea management platform used by global Fortune 2000 firms to drive innovation.