Social Business Lives Under the Radar But That Will Change

Brooks Jordan

I always tell people that I have the best job in the world. When I explain to them what it is, helping businesses go social inside and outside their company, they usually have no idea what I'm talking about.


But social business, as it's called, is an unstoppable trend that will help change the way we live, and work, on this planet.


Imagine yourself at work where you sit at a desk, meet in conference rooms, and send email. Lots of email. If you're not at a really progressive company, you probably work this way and, from what I've seen, the majority of us do.

You might think, well that's how work gets done, what's the alternative?


The alternative is something most of us already do, outside of work. Every text we send, Yelp review we write, Facebook status update we post, tweet we favorite, Instagram photo we comment on, Etsy product we purchase, Dropbox file we share, and on and on, could be called, social living (which is not social life in the big sense).


It hasn't occurred to many of us that living in a social way with all of this technology, that has some downsides but a lot of upsides, could be used at work for social business. Others do but aren't sure how to make it happen. Then there are others who couldn't work effectively at this point without it.


Let me tell you, it is night and day.


Going social at work means, most importantly, you have access to every person you work with. By access, I mean you can find them, see who they are and what they know, what they're doing, and talk to them through chat, private messages, blog posts, collaborative documents, @Mentioning, comments, video, and other methods.


Sure, if you want to upload a binary document for someone (e.g., a PDF or Word doc), something at the absolute height of sharing information in a lot of companies, you can with ease, but that is the lowest rung of social communication.


Oh, and you can do all of this in a browser, on a tablet, or on your phone. Social is mobile and vice versa.

In truth, this way of working is hard to describe and is best experienced. But, we all have a reference point for it with social media. Think of the last time you came across someone or something on the social/mobile Web that helped you or just enlightened you. It happens all the time.


If you use the social layer of the Web to make things with other people or share what you make with other people (a remix via SoundCloud, a design via Threadless, a service for accumulating frequent flier miles), then you're even closer to what it feels like to be social at work.


The point is, you absolutely fly. The quality and velocity of your work, and the work you do with others, takes a surprisingly big leap forward. You get proactive again and stop being so reactive. Email starts to die.


Once a team gets the hang of working socially together, it circles around, consumes, and digests a topic or project so quickly, it's almost magical.


Social business may never be a household name, but once a company or organization, which starts and ends with the people who work there, gets a real taste of working this way, it won?t go back. Every day, the list of social businesses, big and small, east and west, grows.


Join in. Social living and social business are actually the same activity.

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