Being a social business is about unleashing creativity and encouraging engagement both within your organization and between you and your customers/citizens and your partners. It can’t just be equated with deploying social media inside your organization or polling your customers’ opinions via Facebook. For example, take a look at the thoughts of Dave Gray of the Dachis Group or Rawn Shah of IBM.
Change is Inherent…
Inside the organization we’ll see more people involved in strategy development across multiple levels. That will lead to emergent innovation — new ideas literally emerging out of a serendipitous coming together of ideas from unplanned directions, instead of the old cycle of marketing led R&D. This is all very exciting but clearly it will considerably increase the number of sources of change we need to be able to cater for.
We’ll also see increased interaction with customers and partners. That will lead to increased shared value generation — value networks. This too introduces more sources of change within a wider ecosystem than enterprises have traditionally had to take into account.
The ecosystem is further extended by the technology we use. Social business is of course enabled by, and to an increasing extent dependent on, the integration of social media and other internet based services. So just like cloud computing, this too extends the value network we’re involved in and increases exposure to change and uncertainty.
Let’s call all these different sources and types of change variety. Ashby’s Law Of Requisite Variety (a piece of serious science) tells us that the more variety we encounter in our ecosystems, the greater our capability to capture and respond to it needs to be. [You can of course choose to strictly limit variety, but then you’re not going to be a social business].
Now hierarchical systems can’t cope with variety. That’s pretty obvious if you think of it. If all strategy, planning and coordination is done by “the management,” you’re going to need an awful lot of managers to deal with all that variety.
[Excerpt, click on the link to read the rest of this post.]
By Stuart Boardman, with thoughts by Dave Gray of Dachis Group, Rawn Shah of IBM, and others.