Why do we need a Manifesto?
We’ve been talking about applying social tools inside business since 2006 or before and we are no where near realising the potential for real social collaboration to make business more effective. We need a roadmap to set us on the right course, we need to think differently and to change culture. The Agile Elephant Manifesto encapsulates our blueprint for making Social Business work in thirteen theses. This post is the first in a sequence of 13 which explains each thesis in sequence.
Why Social Business?
We don’t mean the Professor Muhammad Yunus definition of a business which has a social rather than financial objective. We do mean a business adopting social tools and a different, more open and collaborative approach. We’ve been using terms like Web 2.0, Office 2.0, Collaboration, Knowledge Management, Enterprise 2.0, Social Enterprise or Social Business. Social Business is probably the best term currently, but the language is of minor importance compared to the real objective of changing business culture to add value.
It’s our belief businesses have no option – adapt and change or risk being leapfrogged by a more nimble competitor.
It’s our belief that enterprise social software and enterprise social networks have a key role to play in driving efficiency and adding value to the bottom line. These platforms include key functionality like profiles, activity streams, document sharing, blogs, and wikis but the best implementations do more than just providing a social media replacement for email, or an extra layer of communication over the top of the business. What is needed is a set of services that offer the integration of these internal capabilities to both structured and ad hoc business processes as well as to external customer-facing solutions. The key to success is connecting social to the heart of the business process.
Social software can operate as a distinct layer, but companies will increasingly look to social solutions as decision support and ad hoc work facilitators to support current workflow and enterprise application tasks. To enable the core features of enterprise social software to be surfaced inside enterprise workflow, open APIs need to be provided to enable information assets to become productized, syndicated, and distributed as callable IP assets via an API. These are the kinds of social collaboration solutions that our business experience and deep knowledge of social technologies and behaviours can help you deploy.
We want to move beyond business as usual. We want to put “social media” to work inside business as well as out.