In a recent discussion with a close friend I came to the realisation of the problem that you far too often create for yourself when you are so immersed in a area of specialization and innovation. For us, this area of specialization is building an innovative and thought leading Social Business organization to aid our clients adopt Social Business practices aligned to enterprise business outcomes.

Clearly change is about understanding, change is about new and better ideas, shifts in business models and the endless desire to add value to what makes the Business and Gov2.0 world deliver better (cheaper, faster, more integrated, innovative) outcomes to customers and citizens alike.

The challenge with change management is the ability to make the future state look and feel as real and achievable as possible. When you are (as an organization) on the cutting edge of innovation you still need to have the ability to step away from that and acknowledge the current state and culture under which an enterprise is operating. You need to identify the proverbial WIIFM (What’s In It For Me as an employee?).

Believe me, one of the areas that we are going to see the most adoption of Social Business Practices and Innovation is purely within the workplace between employees. You might call this “Enterprise Social”. The  extension of Enterprise Social is into the ecosystem of customers, partners, and vendors -  focused around clear business objectives and customer outcomes. That extension is Social Business.

The questions the Social Enterprise attempts to address for my friend are:

  1. How you find information or people that you need to do your job – especially if you are new to the role ?
  2. How do you work together and collaborate on projects across departments and locations?
  3. How do you voice your ideas and opinions about improving business processes, products, or services?
  4. How are your ideas used at the company?
  5. How do you easily share relevant content with fellow employees on subjects and projects of mutual interest?
  6. How do you mentor or learn from one another?
  7. How do you support ongoing training and learning?
  8. How do do you learn how to transition to new jobs?
  9. As a ‘digital native’ how does your work community reflect your broader social community?
  10. Does your way of working reflect your way of networking at home?

Seeing is believing though and Social Business Practices are being adopted today within the firewall by numerous organizations. In many cases these practices build on and supersede previous Knowledge Management and Centre of Excellence efforts, and in other cases they are entirely new initiatives for the organization.

For the sake of my dear friend I thought I’d share what the workplace of a Social Business looks like so you (and she) can see the WIIFM!

Clearly the Social Enterprise is connected, integrated, engaged, social, innovates and is aggregated around communities of practice or interests.

Have you implemented a Social Enterprise? Please share your experiences….