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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 ...

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 ...


Hello World!

Keeping up a blog is hard.  I've been at it since October 2005, posting regularly up until May last year, but then I went AWOL from Business Two Zero for a while until today.  My 5 year anniversary on the web came and went with a whimper, and I felt guilty, but not guilty enough to get off my arse and blog - that's got to change!  I've kept up tweeting and chipping in to the conversation at various places, but I need to get back to regular posting and making a real  contribution.  In the intervening time there have been plenty of cloud, collaboration and enterprise 2.0 developments, and I've got more involved in the standards topic.  I've also had some new technology to play with…..  I've switched to a BlackBerry Torch - finally we've got a BB with a proper browser.  I've gone Amazon Kindle, and now I can carry round dozens and dozens of books and get more reading done in the gaps and on the road.  At Christmas, my wife enrolled me in the iPad generation... Expect reviews on those 3 things in the next few weeks.  I've got a selection of books to comment on too - from Vinnie Mirchandani's "The New Polymath" to "Graceful" by Seth ...


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 ...

The SaaS applications wiki - open for business

Over on AccountingWEB's forums (you need an AWEB account to log in, but it's free) there have been some heavy exchanges discussing the barriers to adoption of Cloud solutions by accountants in practice in the UK.  I found it interesting, but sadly the dialogue has been too vendor driven, with plenty of verbiage from the opponents of SaaS and the Cloud, along with positive stuff from evangelists like me.  I couldn't resist chipping in to make the business case for SaaS and the cloud, but Gary Turner of Xero thought we weren't being too helpful for the accountant audience because it was all getting too "inside baseball".    That was a new one on me, but the trusty Wikipedia describes the expression as follows:
"The expression "inside baseball" is sometimes used as a metaphor for details or minutia of a subject so detailed that they generally are not well known by outsiders."
Part of the need for going through the arguments (again) is that although AccountingWEB has some good reviews of the available products, and has covered the online accounting topic to some degree, there isn't one place that pulls together the SaaS and cloud story or lays out the ...

Social Media in the Enterprise - event report pt 2 of 2

Yesterday I blogged part 1 of my report on the Social Media in the Enterprise event that Alan Patrick and I cooked up (at Tuttle) to inject some enterprise related content in to this week's "London Social Media Week".  We had 8 speakers (originally 10, but Will McInnes of NixonMcInnes had travel problems, and Dr Shefaly Yogendra came down with a migraine).   Most "Enterprise 2.0" and "Social Media" events these days tend to cover social media for consumers, B2C marketing to consumers, and even for government services to "consumers" with the majority of the speakers being marketing and media types.  We hear far less about the application of these tools by Enterprises to re-engineer themselves,, or their use in the B2B value chain, or how they are being used to create sustainable business value.

When we do hear about enterprise use, we don't see much about the difficult stuff  - how to integrate to existing heritage systems, how to handle security issues, or whether a flat social network structure can work in a firm with a traditional hierarchy.  You don't usually get presented with any hard evidence of the potential Return on Investment.  Each ...

Social Media in the Enterprise - event report pt 1 of 2

I blogged that Alan Patrick and I were running the only enterprise related event as part of this week's "London Social Media Week".  Considering we only had the idea a week last Friday at Tuttle, and only promoted the thing with a few tweets, I'm both impressed and surprised that we had around 50 attendees (paying £10 entrance fee to cover coffee, booze and nibbles) and 8 speakers at last night's event.  The attendance, and the fact that people were volunteering and making themselves available to come and talk, speaks volumes for the demand to hear about applying these new emergent tools to business, as well as an appetite to understand the organisational implications.   We already have plans for follow on events and activities.  

So this is a two part report.  Part 1 covers my own pitch on the night, and a video podcast of Dennis Howlett, that we finished but didn't manage to show at the event.  Part 2 will report on the other 7 speakers and some conclusions about the 8 different views on offer.

During yesterday afternoon Dennis skyped from Spain and suggested that we should record a video podcast for part of my session.  I'm .. ...

Swiss Re - one of the smart companies

On Monday In Zurich during SOMESSO's Web 2.0 University™ based masterclass delivered by Jim Benson, one of the attendees related her company's adoption of Social Media.  I was soaking up the material and offering Jim a little help, as we have just started to represent Hinchcliffe and Web 2.0 University™ in the UK.  One of the weaknesses that we currently have in the enterprise 2.0 or "social media in business" space is not ...


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...