For several years, we had been hearing how Enterprise 2.0 or Social Business is the “Next Big Thing”. This is a post by Richard Hughes, Director of Social Strategy at Broadvision and author of The Business Communication Revolution. Part of the problem here is the very nature of the technology and business visionaries who heralded the arrival of this social business nirvana.
The tendency of thought leaders to declare something as “dead” and move on to the next “Next Big Thing” is deeply unhelpful and creates and ever-widening chasm between what the media write, and what happens in the real world. As Bill Gates famously said, most people overestimate what you can accomplish in a year, and underestimate what you can accomplish in a decade.
Terminology is often blamed for the difficulty in introducing social business into companies. So, ask your CEO if he or she cares about social business, and you may well be disappointed by their response. Ultimately, you can call it what you like – social business, social media, enterprise 2.0 – it doesn’t matter, as long as you keep the overall goal in mind and ensure that social initiatives are supporting real work, not frivolous chatter. The mission has been called many things over the years and the change of labels often acts to confuse.
Those that announce this stuff could do well to get an education and return to debate with a better sense of the milestones. For what it is worth my sense of where we are at is that the drivers for change (from organisations and customers) continues to build momentum. Related PostsIn Search Of The True Champions of Social Business 23% of people who complain on social media do so purely out of vengeance, and 71% […]Is Social Business Dead? 5 Questions a Nico Henderijckx, Sony – Comment integrer le Client Social votre Service Client? Our Social Times is a boutique social media agency based in Cambridge, UK, providing a range of high-value social media marketing, monitoring and training services. Leave your details and we'll keep you updated about this and future courses (we only email very occasionally). British Leading The Way In Training Ambitions - October 1, 2015 Work-life Balance Programmes most effective at reducing Staff Stress - October 1, 2015 1bn Working Days Lost Every Year To Multitasking - October 1, 2015 Most Powerful Arab Women 2015 - September 18, 2015 Enterprise Study Growth Supported By Appointment of New CEO - September 18, 2015View all We Need Your Feedback! The first thing that comes to the average man’s mind when I say that I work as a Soft Skills trainer is usually the communication skills training.
What I really like about communication skills, besides being an art and not just some hazy stagnant theory, is the fact that we can acquire communication skills, simply by receiving the knowledge and practicing on the behaviors that reflect effective speaking and empathic listening. But, let’s be frank about something here, acquiring communication skills is not a piece-of-cake. Since it would be unfair to sum up the knowledge of communication in 1000 words or so, I will brief below some of the communication barriers, promising that I will come back occasionally to add further depth to this exciting part of Soft Skills knowledge at a later date. Shyness. We can call it being shy to talk in front of public, or we can use the term “Gloss phobia”.
Lack of general knowledge. You must know something about something, from your college education, post-graduate study or life experience. Unexpressive tone of voice. Imagine a leader speechifying his followers to inspire them because they are going through war, however, his voice has the same tone of someone checking with his friends their weekend plans.

Sometimes, the lack of general knowledge and having an unexpressive tone comes from carelessness.
Barriers to communication or any other soft skill have to be removed before practicing to gain the skill itself.
Otherwise the trainee will just receive the knowledge and discover they are not able to apply it, and then they will continue their life probably believing that communication skills are a God given gift!
Then, all of a sudden, the wind changed and a series of “social business is dead” articles appeared, arguing that we should stop talking about “social this”, or “2.0 that”.
The first suggests that social business has failed to live up to its own hype and that most companies are too intransigent to embrace the new way of working that social business needs to succeed. Using social business technology to improve the way we work is definitely one of those “between one and ten years” projects.
The social bloggerati have spent far too much time in tedious squabbles over which labels to use, none of which has left us with any sort of commonly-accepted lexicon.
Ask if they care about better communication both inside and outside the company, and you may very well get a different answer. As more and more companies realise this, we may be reaching the end of the beginning, but we’ve only just begun to reap the potential benefit of social business. She has worked for the past 8 years in marketing and event management for high profile UK companies. The trouble is the full set of benefits are always weak at this point and so a certain impatience sets in and butterfly minds seek the next nectar pot to get high on.
1st generation solutions (a collaboration platform for employees and Hootsuite for social customer service) got the game in play then slammed into incumbent business culture. Aside from the academic definition delivered to us as students in business administration, it is where someone is decoding a message encoded by another one and the channel and the distortion in the surrounding environment.
Imagine a world where communication is a talent given by God and those who are do not have it, cannot obtain it through any other source. Someone who is giving everyone around them a hard time because they are being stubborn and can’t accept others points of view is simply someone who can’t listen empathically. We get angry easily, we get excited even more easily, and in between we tend to react to all situations emotionally. Both will reflect the same; having shaky hands, weak knees, sweating a lot and maybe blushing when asked to talk in front of people.
Or, when you call your best friend to tell them the most exciting news and they reply like “hmmm congrats you seem happy” instead of jumping up and down with happiness. If a person is too careless, they won’t seek the knowledge, or exert the effort to change their tone. As a trainer you will require base line assessments and activities designed to explore everyone’s barriers and readiness to learn so that you can tailor the training plan accordingly.
The second type presents almost the opposite view, that social technology has become mainstream and is just assumed to be inherent in everything we do now. Simply installing social business products in your company is not going have a meaningful impact on the way you communicate unless it is accompanied with cultural change. Terms like “enterprise social media”, “social business”, “enterprise 2.0”, “enterprise social networking” and “social CRM” are often used interchangeably, describing both internal and external company communication.

Our ultimate goal is better communication and collaboration between a company and its customers, between a company and its business partners, and between employees of the company. Indeed, after talking to many companies about the potential of social business, I am increasingly convinced that there is really only one question that matters – “do you aspire to more open and efficient communication between your employees, customers and business partners?” Social business initiatives are highly unlikely to succeed in companies where the answer is “no, we’d like to keep more secrets”. With a passion for digital marketing and visual social media and, when she isn’t running our international events, makes jewellery and writes a food blog. From a soft skills point of view, communication is usually defined as “the art of speaking effectively and listening empathically” so, you can see why we – as Soft Skills trainers prefer such a definition, it identifies the communication as an art. That is why getting your point communicated properly in our culture is such a daunting job, because if they disagree with you, you probably won’t be able to complete the sentence. Not being able to overcome this one will often limit your influence in communication to only your close ones and those in your comfort zone. The issue that we need to resolve sometimes is not being too shy to talk, but when we do talk, not having the right knowledge to share. Not reflecting your emotions through the tone of your voice is simply turning the communication to a smart phone chat-like format, you laugh out loud, scream and send romantic smiley faces while keeping the same flat face. A careless person, in general, is someone who takes great pleasure in not participating in life around him or her.
But when you talk to real companies considering social business initiatives, many are just getting to the end of the exploration phase, and only now starting to apply it seriously.
And on top of that, we get lazy, inaccurate terms like “Facebook for business” and “Twitter for business” as metaphors for internal social networks that have nothing to do with Facebook and Twitter. Social networks are a means of reaching that goal, with three different types of networks all playing a crucial part of any integrated social business strategy. Even in companies that do aspire to more open communication, there are plenty of cultural and organisational issues to overcome, but at least the overall objective is clear. Art is felt deep within your heart and is savored by our senses, it is just science which indicates a more dull and static impression.
Those who don’t have the gift would be isolated and would not survive because they can’t communicate with to others.
Being that emotionally driven often leads the speaker to wrong assumptions and they may even start acting based on what was assumed! So, unless you are staring to a touch screen to communicate with others, I recommend that you need to start using your vocals more effectively. So, after stating that, I think that carelessness is the most crucial and the most troublesome barrier in handling to a trainer, because nothing is more difficult than a person with no passion. But equally, it seems inconceivable that in 2020 we’ll all still be using email as our primary tool for internal and external business communication. Amidst all this confusion, is it any wonder that senior managers remain sceptical or downright hostile to social business initiatives? Social business projects are a means of achieving that goal by applying social networking to “real work”, whether that be internal collaboration, improved supply chain communication, or customer engagement.

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