Notes in the Margin

On the intersection of web apps, digital content and social media

Andrew McAfee: ‘Social Business’ is Past Retirement Age

Though there seems to be fluff-filled debate around this post – again, pundits being self-important in splitting hairs over semantics – this is a good reminder that the social elements of a work environment have been the subject of study and debate for, according to McAfee, over 80 years. What’s new is the enabling technology, so one should not understate the role of these enablers when describing or convincing others of the value of social media.

…(T)elling business decision makers “There are some important new (social) technologies available now, and they’ll help you address longstanding and vexing challenges you have” is very different than telling them “Business is social, and the more deeply you embrace that fact the better off you’ll be.”

The former sentence, I’ve found, is pretty effective at getting their attention. The latter one is less so, because I tell you with complete certainty that they’ve heard it many many times before. It’s a message that has been broadcast into the executive suite for fourscore years now… the message has been heard so often that it’s faded into the background.

I suspect that understating the technological side of social media is a deliberate attempt to move the discussion into a business context for the sake of persuading the business executives we’re trying to convince. But this is a reminder that the context in which business is conducted matters, and that context is technically-grounded social media.

‘Social Business’ is Past Retirement Age.


Written by tstaley

November 11, 2010 at 10:09 am

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