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« Earth to BusinessWeek: We are not living in 1965! | Main | In search of civilization »

July 07, 2010


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Martijn Linssen

Fine post Steve!

I agree and disagree here, as I don't see Social as a technological thing. Sure it's made possible by technology blasting away all thresholds so we can all connect 24/7/52, but it's a human movement tying eachother together. The phone, radio, TV, internet: all that still was broadcasting or too incidental / individual

I don't believe in Enterprise 2.0 adoption, it's either adaption or nothing I think. Yes you can be beyond Social even:

I think Social will enable hive-minded organisation, inside or outside existing organisations, and will change business for good. But I must confess: I really really hope so that that happens a lot more...

Samuel Driessen

Interesting post, Steve. I agree that in itself social media won't change organizations. What I do think and see social media do in organization is: support different information and communication processes than traditional tools. And it supports them in a different way. It focuses on expertise and social networks in organization instead of links between files/information. And it support unstructured information processes better than the traditional systems. This does not change organizations in itself, but taping into the communication and information processes can change the way the organization runs. It can speed it up, open it up, etc.

Pierre Walther

Thank you, Steve. Good points. But we have also to consider that Social Media makes new things possible.
E.g. browsing through facebook we see what really matters for people; apparently a consumer society.
E.g. by writing his blog, a person with true convictions can become a star: e.g. no-impact man in NYC.
I think that what we see now is just a starting point. More attention will be paid to contents in the future.


Great post Steve! And there has been much debate recently with the topic of organizations blocking social media completely. Policy and restrictions are being decided everyday by IT managers. The security of company networks are at stake but the potential for innovation using social media is a large enough carrot for the discussion of how to properly utilize the medium continues. Palo Alto networks came up with a whitepaper,, which will explore the issues surrounding social media in the workplace. It is important to not only understand the immediate benefits of doing business how one lives, but the threat it presents to a company's greater ROI and productivity when it comes to the server's safety and security.

Stan Yanakiev

I agree that technology itself will not change management. Technology is just a tool and it can be used for different purposes. It has little or no impact on organizational values.

Philip Oude-Vrielink

I agree.

Social media technologies are tools. What matters is how tools are used (i.e. behaviour) by people. It is not a hammers fault if an imbecile uses it to change a light-bulb.

Tools do not, by themselves, change organisations.

The way people in organisations behave, including the behaviour of how tools are used, can both support and hinder the purpose of an organisation. What matters is congruence between purpose and method (behaviour).


I too agree. I've thought about this in the political realm. The claims that the internet will lead to improve democracy are tenuous at best. What we've seen is that the internet has helped political groups tighten and fight hard against one another. Very little real change indeed. I expect the same will likely be true within businesses.

Steve Denning

Evanleonard--You might see it as a good thing in one sense: tools are not in charge. Human beings are! At the same time, it creates a responsibility for human beings to step and say what kind of a government--or organization--we want. If we just sit back and wait, then things will be done to us, rather than us taking charge of things.

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