I am very excited by the ideas behind social business design. Let me explain what I mean.
What I am looking for is a way to find a balance between my work, the amazing technology available to me and the world in which I live, society. I want to be able take a holistic view of all my life and what I want to achieve and be far more strategic about getting the best outcomes.
For example, I really like using social media sites such as Facebook and LinkedIn to stay to connected with people I admire. They are also brilliant places to let people know what projects I am doing. I find the on-line planning and meetings tools such as doodle, Skype and WebEx to minimize potential bouncy e-mails and hours of traveling. If I want to go to Berlin, I can hop off to a virtual world simulation of this city and meet a few friends there. And let’s not forget all that useful information bubbling away on the Internet that can tell me when I can salsa in the local village hall or tell what happened yesterday in a gold mine in Australia.
Yes, those fuzzy boundaries between different parts of our lives are dangerously close to being overwhelming. But I have realized is that is not innovation’s fault. I just need to be clear about what I want to do with my life and build contingency into my fabulous life engine.
Many businesses are looking at how they can build more efficient operational systems. But they can go further than that. They can build a business, community, technology ecosystem. They can optimise their business potential while honouring the community in which they work through technology. Sounds rather idealistic but there are some brilliant examples out there.
What is really exciting is that social media speeds up change. You can change the shape of a back-office process without anybody having to be retrained. You can include new customers without having to build a whole new ad campaign because it’s all about the customer finding you. Best of all, you can adapt to new trends because you have great data visualisation maps or a smartphone app that gives you up-to-the-minute information.
The power in the words social business design is phenomenal. Which means that the businesses that cut through their operational history and redesign their relationships between their customers, stakeholders, staff, processes, technologies and communities will have the real edge.