Over the years, my partner Charlene Li and I authored a series of research papers and also a short book on the evolution of social businesses, from philosophy to strategy to practice. Along the way, we also produced an effective maturity model and infographic that documented the six stages of social business transformation. This work would eventually pave the way toward my focus on digital transformation and innovation today.
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.
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 hererecently. 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.
Change is inevitable, but it is rarely easy. Among the greatest difficulties associated with change is the ability to even recognize its need at a time when we can actually do something about it. Sometimes, when we finally realize that change is inevitable, the vision or energy needed to push forward in a new direction is elusive. Or worse, when competitors recognize the need for change before us, we are by default pushed into a precarious position where our next steps become impulsive rather than strategic.
Thank you to everyone who helped make (R)evolution Season 1 so special. I took some time off to start writing the next book. I’m happy to share however, that taping has already started for Season 2. The new season begins on March 11, 2011.
Welcome to the fourth episode of (R)evolution, a new series that connects you to the people, trends, and ideas defining the future of business, marketing, and media. My guest in episode 4 is Charline Li, founding partner of Altimeter Group, author of the new book, Open Leadership and also my dear friend.
The premise of “open leadership” sets the stage for executives to embrace social technology to transform the way they lead. In our discussion, we also review how social behavior and activity demand that leaders not only embrace open leadership, but also open engagement.
Living in Silicon Valley, tech startups and industry giants serve as common fixtures, much in the same way movie studios and production companies adorn Hollywood. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube are on the minds and in the conversations of leaders and entrepreneurs. And, they’re also factored into the business strategies of today and tomorrow.
We live in amazing times. Perhaps what makes it so special is that the present is rewriting the future for so many things held sacred over the years. So many industries, processes, politics, beliefs and myths clouded or seized our responsibility and capacity to force innovation and ultimately the change that is needed and long overdue. At the root of this however, is what fuels evolution and revolution…
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold 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. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.