Social Business Becomes Change Management In 2014, Context is Key

09 Jan Social Business Becomes Change Management In 2014, Context is Key

Third in a series of predictions for social business in 2014 from the Enterprise Strategies Team.

2014 is being hailed as another year of continued progress for the new, social way of working. Based on what I’ve seen with our clients these last few years, here are my predictions for social business in the upcoming months.


1. Context will be recognized as one of the most critical components of a successful internal social network.

  • Not only is it true that “if you build it, they will NOT come” — it is equally as true that if your internal social network is separate from your critical business systems, you are assured decreasing usage and value over time. Social interactions cannot and should not be separate from your company’s business processes.


2. The return of training, but under a different name.

  • Somewhere along the way, our corporate psyche began to associate “training” with weakness. It became a word signifying an admittance that we as employees may not know everything. I have witnessed this phenomenon even more strongly in the executive ranks — so much so that we have transitioned from calling our social business “training” for senior leaders to executive mentoring. Further compounding this problem is the millions of dollars spent by enterprise software vendors each year to convince us that their tools are easy, intuitive, and require no training dollars (this last point is further reinforced by every software field sales rep that visits your office). In fact, these tools are more intuitive and much easier to use than they have ever been. Businesses are now opting to use custom software for their businesses activity. This kind of software cuts out any unnecessary programs that aren’t used by the business and can improve their effiency as new software is designed around their needs. That, however, is not the point. Simply because a tool is easy to use does not mean it will go viral within your organization. It also puts undue focus on the tool. What we are really talking about here is a “process” change. We need to teach people a new way of working and integrate this knowledge in our culture and way of doing things as an organization. The tools are just an enabler.


3. The biggest successes in social business will be achieved by those who stop worrying about what to call it and instead focus on what is important — business processes and change management.

  • Call it social business, social intranet, digital workplace, or some derivation thereof…the crux of this movement is about changing the way we humans work and communicate. The only way to succeed in changing such fundamental things is to focus on process change and change management.

Do you agree? What are your thoughts on the future of social business in 2014?


Andy Jankowski

Andy is a Social Business researcher, advisor and keynote speaker. During the last 19 years he has served as a trusted advisor for several leading organizations including Andersen, Ernst & Young, JP Morgan Chase and Oracle. He is a career long student of enterprise communication and collaboration. He has both written for, and been written about, in Forbes and The Huffington Post. Andy is a frequent conference speaker and an avid road cyclist. He enjoys connecting people and dots.

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  • Lisa Kuhn Phillips
    Posted at 07:43h, 14 January Reply

    Smart. #2 is the sticking point….and pivot. Thx for writing this.

    • Andy Jankowski
      Posted at 13:15h, 14 January Reply

      Thanks @LisaKuhnPhillips:disqus glad you agree. I am actually working to compile examples of companies (and or teams) that have made the pivot. Insights will take the shape of a follow up post, or webinar. If you have a personal experience to share, please feel free to share it here. I am sure everyone could benefit from your experience.

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