Time to Grow Up! Social businesses mature, yet many still lack a strategic foundation [infographic]

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This year has been particularly busy yet productive for Charlene Li and me having published two reports that detail the six stages of social business evolution and the true state of social business in 2013, an ebook on how successful social businesses are evolving, and an image-rich slide deck complete with all the graphs and charts you need to benchmark where you are compared to other social businesses.

Social Business is not Dead: New charts and data reveal the real evolution of social businesses

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In recent times, I’ve noticed a rise in discussions around the “death of social business” and also an increase in alternative “fill in the blank but don’t use the word social” businesses. Some of those discussions have been hosted here recently. There’s strong merit to the discussions of course, especially those I’ve hosted (be sure to read the comments). But as an analyst tracking the evolution of social businesses and equally the cause and effect of digital transformation overall, I’m learning that the most advanced organizations see social not as a technology movement but instead one of culture and philosophy. Openness, collaboration, transparency, communication…these aren’t buzz words. Among those leading change, these words represent a way of business and it all starts with vision and the ability to see how relationships and experiences with customers and employees can improve or accomplish new and greater goals.

Leadership Unplugged: Stripping out the noise to uncover a new direction

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Guest post by Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton

Twenty years ago, on November 18th, 1993, the music band Nirvana agreed to an unplugged performance at the Sony Music Studios in New York City. It was part of a television series called “MTV Unplugged”, which invited popular music groups to perform their songs “naturally”. Unlike in a studio, the sound of instruments would not be electronically amplified and engineered; the artists had rather to rely on the “raw” performance of a piano, a cello, or a guitar. The recording became a milestone of musical history: The album “MTV Unplugged in New York” went on to become number 1 on the Billboard 200, and Rolling Stone magazine ranked it as one of the “Greatest Albums of all Time”.

17 Cartoons that Will Change Your Business

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When writing my new book, What’s the Future of Business, Changing the way businesses create experiences, I felt that text wasn’t enough. So, I sought the wit and creativity of my good friend from the ole Web 2.0 days Hugh MacLeod aka @gapingvoid to help summarize each chapter in the form of a toon. Then we got to talking, why limit the cartoons to just the book?

How to Foster a Culture of Contribution: Communities Take Investment and Engagement, Not Just Content

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Guest post by Greg Narain (@gregarious), co-founder of Chute, a social media platform that helps brands and publishers obtain rights to UGC content.

Customer-contributed stories are not only powerful, they’re also influential and important. Yesterday, customers conveyed their stories through text and voice. Today, we’ve moved to visually rich tools like photos and videos. While compelling to look at at face value, there’s quite a bit more hidden within.

The Ultimate Moment of Truth and The Art of Digital Engagement

In 2012, Google along with Jim Lecinski published a fantastic book that explored how digital customers made decisions in what Google refers to as “The Zero Moment of Truth.” The ZMOT as it’s abbreviated, helps strategists discover relevant strategies and tactics on how to show up at the right place, at the right time and with the right content in a digital ecosystem.

Impatience is a Virtue: What’s Next for Social Business

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Guest post by Philip Sheldrake as a reply to Chris Heuer’s post, “Social Business is Dead! Long Live What’s Next!”

As he finished a game of Cut The Rope on his iPhone, my young godson asked what my phone was like when I was his age. I broke it down for him. I was in my twenties before someone offered to take north of ten thousand dollars for a basic digital camera, and not much less for a GPS device. And I got my first basic mobile phone (I explained that means just making phone calls and sending text messages) as I approached thirty.

Your Brand: The Next Media Company – Become A Content Organization

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Guest post by Michael Brito, author of Your Brand: The Next Media Company

There are four fundamental truths shaping today’s digital ecosystem, which I outline in my upcoming book, Your Brand: The Next Media Company.

Number one. There is a content and media surplus in the market place. There’s no shortage of advertising, marketing messages, mobile devices or social interruptions trying to command our attention, daily.

Altimeter Group’s State of Social Business 2013 Report

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Each year, The Altimeter Group hosts an annual Social Business survey to learn how social media is evolving within enterprise organizations. Data is then compared to previous reports providing a sense of movement to the numbers and also a developing benchmark for our analysts and clients. Our last survey was studied in Q3 2013 and also Q4 2012, the latter was used to provide context to a report published by Charlene LI and me in March 2013, “The Evolution of Social Business: Six Stages of Social Business Transformation.”

Peter Guber on Competing for the Future…Now

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Peter Guber is one of the most successful yet grounded business leaders I have a pleasure of calling a friend. There are many sides to Peter and chances are you may know him from one of his many distinguished ventures,

- Chairman and CEO of the multimedia Mandalay Entertainment Group
- Past president of Sony Pictures
- Producer of popular motion pictures including Batman, Rain Man, The Color Purple, just to name a few
- Co-owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Golden State Warriors
- Author of the best-selling book Tell to Win
- Professor at UCLA School of Business

ABOUT ME

Brian Solis is principal at Altimeter Group, a research firm focused on disruptive technology. A digital analyst, anthropologist, and futurist, Solis has studied and influenced the effects of emerging technology on business, marketing, and culture. Solis is also globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders and published authors in new media. His new book, What's the Future of Business (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold and flourish in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. Prior to End of Business, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.

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