First off, I'd like to point you to a post by Stowe Boyd about the social business naysayers - we should be thinking about the implications of our words and work as we engage in conversations.
My recommendation is to read opposing views, learn about what works and what doesn't work so well from experience - and use all of this as fodder for critical thinking and adaptation to your own business and circumstances.
I almost met Jeff Dachis last year at SxSWi. Almost because we missed a special code that would allow us to be admitted to the after event party he was hosting. Since I really wanted to meet him, I thought of connecting for this conversation.
A while back we talked about thought leadership at Conversation Agent. The main question was are blogs the new thought leadership? It was an attempt at capturing that something new and different was happening - more people now have the ability to socialize their business and projects. The way we do business has changed, has it not? Yet, many companies are still behaving the same way in the marketplace. What would be your call to action for them?
Technology is enabling a more connected, engaged, participatory set of employees, business partners, and customers. This is a great thing. I'm not certain companies know what to do with all that human capital they now have, facilitated by technology, at their disposal.
Creating an overarching strategy and ensuring the cultural changes and process changes required to be successful are deployed along side the technology being implemented. Measure everything.
In an interview at Valleywag about Dachis landing $50MM from Austin Ventures, you said "I believe there is enormous opportunity in helping companies devise and implement a strategy to engage their constituents in a meaningful dialog throughout the enterprise. As companies begin to see the benefits of utilizing "social" technology to engage their customers, employees, suppliers, shareholders, and communities in an active and transparent dialog, they will need a trusted partner to help them navigate the opportunities, and an integrated set of scalable, robust, and secure enterprise class tools to implement them. We are here to provide both expertise and implementation". As more companies sprouted to do just that, has your focus remained the same or has it shifted? What is social business design?
Social Business Design is the intentional creation of dynamic socially calibrated business systems, process and culture. It is an organizational model for business in a networked economy.
If you delve into it, Dachis Group's work on Social Business Design provides a set of lenses and framework from which a company can plan, implement and measure its efforts to become more socially calibrated, agile and dynamic thereby yielding better results.
I know that many who are making a difference today are there because they want to change the world. In a way, the tools have made it easier to spread the word, but it is really about intent. When did you first realize you were going to step forward to help transform business? Was there a specific event or conversation that inspired you?
For me, it comes from my parents and family who have always shown that there are no limits to an individual's desire to become who they want to be. I've always been passionate about the things I am involved with, sometimes to a fault, but it all comes down to how you want to live your life.
I get up everyday excited about learning new things, working with great people, and all that inspires new ideas and opportunities. Hopefully we are lucky enough to pursue and achieve them.
Who do you consider part of your team? If you were to share one word of advice with them, what would it be?
Our strategy, technology, and operational teams in the US, UK, and Asia/Pacific are really outstanding, and we have been blessed with extremely smart investors who have chosen to work with us.
Additionally, the community of fellow practitioners, outstanding thought leaders, tireless people working to push ideas forward in the marketplace inspire us. Finally, our families make up a crucial element of our team without which we could not succeed.
Advice: I have more to learn from them than they do from me...
While the idea of social business design is interesting, I admit that when the definition was first rolled out, I found it confusing. I'm glad Peter, David, and Jeff have since engaged in more conversations to help us wrap more thinking about it.