Chapter 26

Laying the Foundations for a Social Business

Jed Hallam

Here we do not examine the importance of social business, or even its implications, but instead look at the critical stages to laying the foundations of a social business. From creating new job roles and setting up working groups, to changing culture and encouraging mistakes – becoming a social business won't happen overnight, but following these key stages will help to start the ball rolling.

Over the last few years the concept of “social business” has entered the zeitgeist – a combination of the rise in technology (leading to an increasingly demanding consumer) and an appetite for agility within businesses has led to this. What was initially seen as a communications tool for public relations and marketing practitioners in 2005 is now becoming an area of interest to the entire business, from the CEO to the IT department – this change has had an impact on everyone.

Then add the fact that the new generation of business leaders is “digitally native” (i.e. they've never experienced life without an internet connection) and it's easy to see that the future of business will be neither offline nor online – it will be integrated. I've discussed this extensively in the past, mainly in my book The Social Media Manifesto238 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), but a question that is repeatedly asked of me is: But how do we respond to this?

So, my purpose is not to explain the impact or rationale of social business, but instead to ...

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