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What next for Social Business? Patchwork Elephant Event Report

As part of London's Social Media Week we put on an event called Social Business – The Patchwork Elephant Revisited asking "What next for Social Business?".  We were kindly sponsored by our friends here at and we introduced the event and the speakers in an earlier post.  The idea was to get 8 different perspectives on where we are at, and where we go next, with using social and collaboration tools "inside" the business to add value and work more effectively.  Why is the "Social" word seen with such suspicion by some executives in the C-suite?  With the explosion of social media use in marketing or customer support reaching out of the organisation, why aren't more companies using it all over their organisations?  We believe change is happening, but why aren't we further forward with "Social Business"?

A few weeks after our event, Chris Heuer did a guest post on Brian Solis' blog that moved in to the same territory we covered asking Social Business is Dead! Long Live What’s Next! and highlighted the problem with:
"While the ideas behind the moniker are invaluable in defining the future of work, most large companies simply . ...

Where next for Social Business? @ Social Media Week London

This 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
Three years ago we ran a similar event within the February 2010 edition of ...

Beyond Cloud - a series of interviews

A few weeks ago I was invited by Daniel Steeves to kick off his "Beyond Cloud" series of around 15 documentary interviews.  It went live on and Vimeo yesterday. Daniel is putting these sessions together with IntelligentHQ and Groupe INSEEC London (the French business school).  Daniel's idea is to have a series of video interviews based around the same set of 4 questions to cover the trends, issues and realities of the Cloud landscape from the many different perspectives of the players involved.  I was providing the consultant's perspective, but he will be covering the viewpoint from the very large Cloud provider, the traditional vendor, the SME provider, the Cloud orchestrator, the network provider, the data centre, the Cloud broker, middle-ware provider, orchestrator, security expert, some different styles of SaaS provider, the industry analyst, the business user, the micro business DIY user and the Cloud lawyer.  He's hoping to get some heretics, detractors and realists along with the evangelists and enthusiasts.   At the end of the sequence Daniel is bringing me back so I can interview him with the same 4 questions to wrap up the ...

Bloggers, wannabes and the Zen of Blogging

Last Thursday I sampled the latest incarnation of the London Bloggers Meetup, as organized by Andy Bargery and friends.  This meetup has been running for years, but it was my first time.  What sparked my interest was a combination of meeting Andy at a Social Medial Week London event in January, the sheer numbers that had signed up (167 at the time I booked on), and the chance to hear how Leo Babauta  grew his Zen Habits blog to a readership of over 200,000.  I think the other reason I went along is that I'm trying to find the atmosphere and energy of ideas in the melting pot that I used to feel way back in 2007 at OpenCoffee Club when it ran at a Starbucks Regent Street and then Waterstones, Piccadilly, or at The Tuttle Club from it's start early in 2008 and well in to 2010.  I felt the same thing at CreativeCoffee Club sessions - where has it migrated to?

Although over 100 people packed in to the basement of The Long Acre for a noisy, lively event, that particular spark I'm looking for wasn't there at LBM.  I saw but didn't get a chance to speak to a smattering of longstanding bloggers like Judith Lewis (@JudithLewis on Twitter), Rachel Clarke ( . ...

London Wiki Wednesday - enterprise taster for Social Media Week

Obligatory WIki PhotoLondon Wiki Wednesday, the evening meetup for wiki geeks, business geeks and anyone wanting to discuss the use of social media technology inside their organisation is restarting for 2011 this Wednesday February 2nd - 18:15 onwards for a 19:00 start at NYK Shipping near Moorgate.  Back in 2007 and 2008 we had almost monthly sessions with 25 or more and sometimes up to 60 people attending.  During 2009 we had bit of a hiatus, mainly because of the difficulty in getting venues and sponsors for some free eats and drinks.  Since restarting in September 2009 we've had meetings up to July last year, more often than not at NYK, which thanks to Alek Lotoczko has become our default venue.   A core group of Alek, Harry Wood, Gordon Joly, Andrew Black and I have kept the idea alive.  However, I have this feeling in my gut that a regular enterprise oriented social media event is missing from the current London scene.  Maybe that's why we've had 26 people sign up for this week's session?  We'll see.

It's very likely that this week's main speaker is the real draw.  My good friend Euan Semple will be along to talk enterprise use of wiki's and ...


SOMESSO/Headshift Social Business Summit - a meeting of minds

I've been a regular at every SOMESSO event so far, and Lee Bryant kindly invited me to the latest incarnation last Thursday - a joint SOMESSO and Headshift one day Social Business Summit.   Sorting out a very embarrassing attack of the ave.exe virus delayed me enough that morning to miss the two keynotes from Jeff Dachis and JP Rangaswami (my Mac friends tell me I should make the switch, but I'm stubbornly staying on Windows along with 90% of my customers).  I was particularly disappointed missing JP, as everyone told me his session was excellent, breaking the way ahead with the social business topic down to transaction cost.  As soon as the video of his session is available, I'll update this post to include it.  

The social business theme is dear to my heart.  The word social and the social media term can be counter productive when talking to some business leaders about the way businesses needs to change in the 21st century.  This summit meeting was all about applying what I would call enterprise 2.0  and some would call social tools (blogs, wikis, micro-blogging, tagging and other collaboration tools) to help businesses be more ...

Social Media in the Enterprise in London on March 15

Next week is going to be very busy for anyone interested in the future of business.  You know that Social Media in the Enterprise is one of my key topics.  Last June I spoke at the Corporate Social Networking Conference on the business case.   The next incarnation of that conference comes back to London next week, although it's one of 4 conference streams of a 2 day event with associated exhibitions and workshops at Olympia on Monday and Tuesday, March 15 & 16.  The other three streams are the Social Media World Forum, the Social TV Forum, and Mobile Social Media.  

The Social Business Summit - special offer for BTZ readers

Here's news of a special offer for readers of Business Two Zero.  I've always supported SOMESSO events since speaking at their first one in Zurich back in 2008.  SOMESSO stands for social media espresso - it's a strong, fast hit of social media for the corporate world.  Every event so far has had top notch speakers and impressive companies and practitioners in the audience, resulting in some great discussions and conversations.  Their next event is in London next week on Thursday, March 18, organized in conjunction with my friends at Headshift (now part of the Dachis Group).  This one is positioned as a one day Social Business Summit, and even the title will spark some discussion.  Jeff Dachis will speak on how far we've come, and the impact of social tools in business to date.  My friend JP Rangaswami will then talk about where we are going, and how the socially-calibrated business of the future might operate.   The rest of the day will involve more discussion on where we might be headed, along with case studies on use of social media for collaboration internally, externally for marketing, support and connecting to the ecosystem.  ...

London Wiki Wednesdays rebooted!

Last Wednesday evening, 3rd March, London Wiki Wednesdays got rebooted for 2010 and beyond, with a varied selection of great 5 minute presentations and me doing MC duty as usual.  We were hosted by Alek Lotoczko and our friends at NYK.  Actually, it felt like the old days.   As you can see from our wiki, there  was a bit of a hiatus between November 2008 and October 2009 and then to this month, excluding several informal meetings down the pub.  The key issue has been the time and energy it takes to get venues and sponsors (anyone interested, please see me afterwards).  However, we've decided to get things moving with a full meeting every two months (on the first Wednesday of the month) with informal meetings in between.  

During my intro the group agreed to broaden the topic out from just wiki related projects, to  wiki plus all things enterprise 2.0 - social media tools applied to business.  We will, however, retain our London Wiki Wednesday branding, rather than changing to 2.0 Tuesdays or some such.  Somewhere in the handovers I also mentioned the 2.0 Adoption Council and 2.0 Adoption Community.   On the night ...

London Wiki Wednesday rides again - 7 October

London Wiki Wednesdays is finally back!   After a long hiatus, some of the core team got together for a drink last month, although I couldn't join them.  Alek Lotoczko volunteered NYK Shipping (our regular fall back venue - Alek and NYK are firm and valued supporters of LWW)  but with the short notice we couldn't do much promotion, or get any sponsorship.  The guys asked me to carry on being MC, and Wednesday 7 October w...