Social business is the new trend following on from Enterprise 2.0 – but underlying it is an essential conflict between two different styles of doing business. The conflict is between businesses optimized for efficiency and those optimized for the creation of value.
Greg Satell encapsulates this conflict neatly in his 2010 post Creating Efficiency vs. Creating Value. He raises the notion of Kuhnian paradigm shifts and open innovation as a key part of creating value.
However, I suspect that Geoff Livingston is right when he argues that we are actually facing the post social media revolution era.
These two ideas – that we have entered the post social media revolution era and; that we need to create value as opposed to efficiency – frame the challenge of the next few years for business.
With the decline of the verities of the economic system that we’ve taken for granted over the past 30 years we are now faced with a new economic landscape within which to create and grow businesses.
In an environment of reduced consumer power, restricted credit and the prospect of sovereign crises, businesses need to find ways to harness creativity to generate revenue. This means we must diversify our efforts from a focus on efficiency and cost optimization. It means that we need to create mechanisms for creation and sharing of value.
We need to find new ways of doing business that do not merely follow the ideological constraints of what has gone before. Instead it is time to bring all of our commitment and determination to find new ways of doing things.
It will be insufficient to merely put the word ‘social’in front of our business activities. It will be necessary to find out how to embed social processes and technology within our businesses to meet the demands of these challenging times.