Empowerment, Management Fears, and Social Software in Business
After our blog post on Jive filing for IPO we have received several off line comments showing a widespread misunderstanding.
Social software for the business is not the same as social media marketing!
Social software for the business is about the ability to tap into knowledge flows.
In a recent article in Forbes John Hagel said:
“The ability to tap into knowledge flows has become more important than in the past, when it was about what proprietary knowledge you had. In those days, the role of the individual was to follow instructions. That’s why you often had big binders full of instructions at large companies. Today, the important thing is how you connect more effectively with a broader, more diverse range of institutions and individuals so you can tap into trends in the marketplace more rapidly. This is why social software has become more central to business success. You’re now bypassing the hierarchies in an organization and enabling people to connect more broadly, so command structures start to get undermined. On one level, that’s threatening, maybe even subversive. On another level, it’s essential to success. It’s not the technology per se that empowers. It’s that this shift from knowledge stocks to knowledge flows shifts the power as well. Now, it’s not about the top executive dictating what needs to be done and when, it’s about providing individuals with the power to connect, so that they can address things rapidly and do local problem solving.”
John Hagel: Co-director of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, and author of numerous books about the Internet and modern business, including most recently The Power of Pull: How Small Moves, Smartly Made, Can Set Big Things in Motion , which he co-wrote with Deloitte colleagues John Seely Brown and Lang Davison. Hagel, an important source for the recent Forbes/Techonomy story, Social Power and the Coming Corporate Revolution.