Where next for Social Business? @ Social Media Week London

Elmer the Patchwork ElephantThis week is Social Media Week in London (but also Berlin, Bogota, Chicago, Los Angeles, Mumbai, Sao Paulo and Toronto).  There is a packed schedule of events each day, heavily oriented towards social media marketing and using social to promote your brand and connect with your customers, fans and community in general.  We (Alan Patrick, Janet Parkinson and I) are running one of the few events of this week that talks Social Business – about using social tools inside as well as outside the organisation to make business more effective – Social Business – The Patchwork Elephant Revisited.  We’ll also be discussing the way today’s technology landscape is disrupting traditional business models, changing society, and changing the world of work.
The event is being held tomorrow September 27th at Hub Westminster, in New Zealand House in Haymarket (at the Pall Mall end).  It runs from 13:00 (with a formal start of presentations at 13:30 and a 45 minute break, so ample time for networking) and ends at 17:30.  I’m delighted to say we are sponsored by our friends at CompareTheCloud.net.
Three years ago we ran a similar event within the February 2010 edition of Social Media Week London.  We called it “Social Media in Enterprises – The Elephant in the Ecosystem” and we used a patchwork elephant to symbolise the theme – it’s a patchwork elephant because it’s very large, in the room, but it’s hard to see the whole thing!  Back then 3 and a half years ago our conclusions were:
  • Using social to increase demand generation will be the early win
  • Organisations designed on 18th century principles from the industrial revolution are just not fit for purpose today
  • Social tools often subvert the corporate hierarchy and highlight the “real” networks that make things work
  • Social network projects are happening bottom up and top down but implementation is patchy
  • Traditional hierarchies are orthogonal to social media structures – resistance may be futile, but from some old style thinkers it will be strong
  • We need to aggregate an emerging body of knowledge about what works and what doesn’t, and collect case studies.
Here we are 3 and a half years on, and I can only say that I wish we had made more progress.  Business models are changing, and social technologies are ever more important in the way we work, but where are we really?  Tomorrow’s event asks:
  • How has social business evolved?
  • What is the current state?
  • How does social integrate with our systems and processes today?
  • What are the challenges for implementation and achieving success?
  • Where are we headed?
We’ve assembled a great cast of speakers – business people, consultants, academics – and we hope each will give a different perspective on the social business challenge.  The “Patchwork Elephant” team will top and tail proceedings.  Alan Patrick of Broadsight and Janet Parkinson of Technotropolis will introduce the social business landscape and set the scene.  At the end, after our stellar speaker line up, I’ll add my thoughts and pull together a summary of the key messages.  We’ve left a 45 minute break in the middle for networking, and we’ll be heading to the pub afterwards for anyone who wants to continue the debate and discussion.
Our speakers are:
Luis Saurez – IBM (famous for living outside of the inbox)
Will McInnes – NixonMcInnes (author of Culture Shock)
Mat Morrison – Starcom MediaVest Group (World’s Oldest Living Social Media Guru™)
Anne-Marie McEwan – The Smart Work Company (author of  Smart Working: Creating the Next Wave)
Neil Usher – WorkEssence
If you go to the Social Media Week event page you can see Bios of them all.  We’ll be tweeting using hashtag #smwsocbiz,  and the general flow of Social Media Week London can be found at #SMWLDN.
We’d love to see you there, and we’ll do a follow on blog post with conclusions, links and thoughts from the event.

(Patchwork elephant image courtesy of Elmer and www.echidnaontheloose.com)

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Founder & CXO of Agile Elephant, a digital transformation consultancy and solutions provider. Head of D2C, a consulting firm which provides business and social media consulting and Cloud based solutions for content, collaboration, web publishing, online accounting and ERP. Was director EuroCloud UK, chaired techUK's Software as a Service Group, now Chair of Cloud Industry Forum.

3 responses to “Where next for Social Business? @ Social Media Week London”

  1. Walter Huss

    Another topic not covered so much by press until now is the use of social media in credit scoring and predicting consumer credit behaviour. Big Data Scoring (www.bigdatascoring.com) seems to be the leader in the field and Kreditech (www.kreditech.com) also moving in the same direction.

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