Is it social business, enterprise 2.0 or what?

nameLast week Chris Heuer wrote an excellent piece on Brian Solis‘ blog about the nomenclature of social business.  In it he heralded the death of the name social business on the grounds that it was proving difficult to sell it to executives, whilst also often clashing with the work began by Professor Yunis.

It’s not that the ideas are losing or that the goals are without merit, they are. The problem is that the deeper meaning and richer context is being lost on executives who still think the word “social” indicates a frivolous time-wasting pursuit. To them, it’s about what someone ate for lunch. Or it’s that thing their teenagers do to ignore them at the dinner table.

It reminded me of some recent research from Cornell that looked at the framing effect the name of an industry can have on our perception of it.  It found for instance that gambling has a much poorer image and reputation than does gaming.

“We found that how you label an industry really matters. This is especially true for nonusers or individuals who are not as familiar with the industry,”

Given that it’s perhaps fair to say that most executives are either nonusers or not especially familiar with social business as an industry, how much does the social business moniker actually help vs hindering adoption?

Various suggestions were given over at Chris Heuer’s blog, including Deloitte’s post-digital enterprise, social enterprise, responsive enterpriseand business agile enterprise.

None really trip off of the tongue do they?  With framing seemingly so important, what should this industry be called?

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6 thoughts on “Is it social business, enterprise 2.0 or what?

  1. I think social business suffers a bit by association with social media, which many see as a complete waste of time. Not sure what better name exists though.

  2. I do wonder at times whether the whole social business thing will actually change how business operates or whether it'll fall by the wayside as things like knowledge management did. Being able to describe what it is would certainly help though as it kinda lacks an elevator pitch right now.

    • Yes, although I suppose even that could get bogged down in a belief that collaboration only happens via social network software. For people that have purposefully tuned out of the public social networking craze, that may be an important turn-off.

  3. Social enterprise also means no boundaries, enabling connections and collaboration no matter where and how… So, what about Enterprise Unchained? 🙂
    Unfortunately, I am afraid this would have no better luck than social enterprise…

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