Introduction to ‘Social Enterprise’

When starting an international blog, there are many things to reckon with. Words and expressions can have different meanings in other countries or cultures. This is the case with the word Social. Discussing the term Social Enterprise with e.g. my French colleagues evokes interesting discussions. Social in France is a very political term. The very first association is not with Social Media Technology. This is interesting to notice, because there is in fact more to it that merely the adaption of Social Media Technology.

This blog is about Social Enterprise, and the impact of a ‘Business Technology Paradigm Shift’: the impact of the use of Social Media in Enterprise Organizations.

Meeting Marc Benioff during Dreamforce 2011

Meeting with Marc Benioff during Dreamforce 2011

The term Social Enterprise evokes many questions. It was Marc Benioff from Salesforce.com who introduced this term into our business world. Knowing Marc Benioff and his ideas behind Salesforce.com, I can’t reframe from thinking of social in the most literal (French?) sense: taking care of each other, sharing your wealth, being kind, being social. I bet that Marc has chosen this term on purpose. When still in his EVP Marketing at Oracle before 1998, Marc already was investing in ‘giving back to society’ as he put it. When starting Salesforce.com, it was his explicit intention to be ‘Social’, he came up with his 1% model: 1-1-1 and initiated the Salesforce Foundation. His (in my opinion) sincere intent is to do good, while driving Business. Social Enterprise with a capital S.

Having said that: there are a three aspect to the Social Enterprise::

  1. Technology: Social Media Technology causes a Paradigm Shift in the world of IT. Cloud computing, no infrastructure and even ‘no software’. The profession of IT is changing rapidly.
  2. Business: the Art-of-the-Possible inspired by new Technology, initiates new business models. E.g. creating an end-to-end digital user experience, as Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry puts it, is a whole new ballgame. Also the way employees can now collaborate across departments and around the world like never before, causes ground-shifts within organizations.
  3. Purpose: the social revolution, people don’t want to work for an evil company, corporate organizations wouldn’t get away much longer with merely adding a chapter about CSR in the Annual Report.

This blog is about Technology. And about Business. And about Purpose.

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1 Response to Introduction to ‘Social Enterprise’

  1. Useful stuff. Thanks for sharing. Its refreshing to view content thats both relevant and interesting. Thank you.

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