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“Social Business by Design” by Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim (Book)

Cover - Social Business by Design

Loathed in some circles while celebrated in others, there is simply no middle ground when business managers discuss “Social Business.”  Everyone comes to the topic with a passion.  For as long as Social Business has been buzzed in management circles to describe the application of social concepts to traditional business strategy and operations, there has been much confusion and debate surrounding its purpose and effectiveness.

The newly published, “Social Business by Design,” (Jossey-Bass) by Peter Kim (@peterkim) and Dion Hinchcliffe (@dhinchcliffe) settles the score on this controversial meme.  The book is more than a primer on the topic and delves deeply into the how (and who) that defines contemporary social business success.  Framed in successful business outcomes as the primary motivator for developing a social business strategy, Kim and Hinchcliffe convincingly support the argument that social business is not only worthwhile; it’s imperative for future success.

Dion Hinchcliffe and Peter Kim

Running the gamut from commonly understood principles of social media marketing to sophisticated analyses of enterprise workforce and supplier collaboration, Social Business by Design covers social strategy and execution from A to Z.

Key highlights from the book include:

  1. Rich, actionable case studies from leading companies including Procter & Gamble, Microsoft, MillerCoors, SAP, Bloomberg, Intuit, Levi’s, Toyota, BP, Ford, LG, American Express, L’Oreal, Pitney Bowes, GlaxoSmithKline, Morgan Stanley, and HBO.
  2. Ten Tenets of Social Business:
    • Anyone can participate.
    • Create shared value by default.
    • While participation is self-organizing, the focus is on business outcomes.
    • Enlist a large enough community to derive the desired result.
    • Engage the right community for the business purpose.
    • Participation can take any direction.  Be prepared for it, and take advantage of it.
    • Eliminate all potential barriers to participation.  Ease of use is essential.
    •  Listen to and engage continuously with all relevant social business conversations.
    • The tone and language of social business are most effective when they’re casual and human.
    • The most effective social business activities are deeply integrated into the flow of work.
  3. Concise definitions and differentiation for common buzzwords including Social Media, Social CRM, Crowd-sourcing, Enterprise 2.0, Workforce Collaboration, Social Supply Chain, and Digital Strategy.
  4. Prescriptive “how-to” advice on when, why, and where to begin a social business journey.
  5. Dozens of accompanying information-rich figures and illustrations that describe and define key concepts clearly.
  6. Data and insights from over 100 external sources including McKinsey & Co., MIT, Forrester Research, Gartner, and the Financial Times.

Social Business by Design goes beyond the typical handwaving associated with the social revolution and provides a mature and sober look at the potential this new market phenomenon yields.  It introduces with authority and credibility why businesses need to contemplate the serious reinvention required to succeed for 21st century commerce.  It is to date, the best resource available in the market for managers who are curious about social business’ potential, but also need verifiable proof that large companies are succeeding with these innovative, new approaches.

The single criticism for Social Business by Design is that it may be too information rich.  Many of the topics covered could have been explored in individual texts.  The landscape for social business is bumpy and vast, readers need a simple roadmap or the trip may appear too hazardous!

Guest Author : Susan Scrupski’s Review of Social Business by Design. Susan is Executive Director, Social Business Council.

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