The three layers of social business – preview


Note: This post does not reflect anymore my point of view on this subject. For historical purposes I keep record of this post. To access the new vision on Social Business, please access  A Social Platform Definition and related content from there.


This is a mirror post from eBizQ post before enters into oblivion. Somehow it shows one of the areas I’m working with some companies regarding the three layers for social interaction. Social execution is not about having a social tech pallet or stack as most of analysts like to call.

Social interaction is still in early adoption steps. Adoption will increase as managers realize that customers are taking control of process execution. Those that does not make the sift will suffer from poor customer experience and will harm business.

There are two driving factors that are making the change.

1- The type of company value chain. If the company sells / provides directly to consumers, means that they cannot control the touching points with the company (consumers can now express freely frustration, disappointment, change the execution path because they have mobile ammunition on the go to access and send information).

2 – Social technology. People are getting used to replicate communication habits with every entity they contact. This means they will or are keen of exchange information with companies they buy products, what information, support, whatever.

But this not enough. Again we read / listen all the time about social technologies that will make the change. On one hand is true that tech increases information flow speed making the organization more horizontal, improving communication, information exchange, building better, more participative teams; on the other hand you need alignment between these three layers:

1- The social practice, or the business process, instead of thinking about the typical process flow with activities, that don’t have the granularity and the detail to express the dynamics of social interaction, think more about a conversation to achieve a process goal. That conversation can be carried using different, mixed technologies, voice, text or video. Conversations involve people that belong to network nodes and conversation occurs within the arcs of the network.

2- The organization layer, not the organizational structure with business units and departments and roles, but the social network, that shows the communication flow and how people are connected with.

3 – The Technology layer, the applications people use to communicate and socialize. Some examples are activity streams, e-mail, wikis, instant messaging, whatever it fits their needs. It can happen, that different people in different organizations communicate the same piece of information using different tools, because they tend to adapt to its needs or regarding IT rules (for example IT Dept, don’t like to allow Google docs, because of its lack of privacy and security concerns).

Thus social tech is not only what it counts. Putting all the three layers is what makes the difference.

I would say that the company social network patterns will make the difference regarding the type of knowledge that is applied. Something a got deeper in this blog post.

3 thoughts on “The three layers of social business – preview

  1. Pingback: A Social Platform definition « End to End BPM

  2. Pingback: My links of the week (weekly) « lateral thinking

  3. Pingback: Liens de la semaine (weekly)

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