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In occasione del Social Business Forum 2012 ( ) – che ho avuto il piacere di contribuire ad organizzare – Oracle ha realizzato una serie di video interviste con alcuni dei più grandi guru mondiali in ambito di Social Business e di Organizzazione partecipata.
In queste brevi interviste – che ho voluto raccogliere  in un unico post vengono affrontati temi molto interessanti per chi si occupa di consulenza organizzativa.

Dal Social Business alla resilienza organizzativa, dalla Gamification ai trend maggiormente significativi della collaborazione. Riflessioni sull’organizzazione del futuro e sull’utilizzo (efficace ed efficiente) dei social media nell’organizzazione.
Credo che queste brevi pillole possano servire sia ad un pubblico “immaturo” che si avvicina per le prime volte a questi temi, sia ad un utenza esperta che intende avere alcuni spunti di riflessione dai quali partire per maturare nuove strategie e nuovi processi

Di seguito riporto le video interviste che sono state realizzate.

John Hagel, Co-Chairman of the Center for the Edge at Deloitte & Touche (See Measuring the forces of long-term change – The 2009 Shift Index), provides strategic insights on how companies will succeed in the 21st century. 

L’intervento di Hagel risulta interessante per riflettere soprattutto perché sottolinea l’importanza delle metriche facendo riferimento allo Shift Index e avanza alcune delle teorie che sono presentate nel suo libro. Il fatto che le organizzazioni debbano muovere da un approccio push ad uno pull, creandopoattaforme scalabili che permettano di valorizzare le risorse delle organizzazioni nel tempo e nell’occasione giusta.

Il secondo intervento è di Steve Denning che propone un nuovo modo di fare management di fare organizzazione. Chiama questo modo Radical Management che riguarda il mettere al centro del business e dell’organizzazione del futuro le persone e i consumatori. Questo richiede un cambiamento radicale appunto che rappresenti una netta evolzione rispetto al sistema sociale economico e politico in cui abbiamo vissuto fino ad adesso

According to Steve Denning, in a phase change from old to a creative, collaborative, knowledge economy, the answer is hidden in a whole new business ecosystem that puts the individual (both the employee and the customer) at the center of the organization. He calls this new paradigm Radical Management and in the video interview he articulates the huge challenges and amazing rewards our enterprises are facing during this inevitable transition.

In this second video interview from the Social Business Forum, Christian Finn (Senior Director, WebCenter Product Management at Oracle) shared his vision regarding the social business journey by covering both the barriers preventing companies from gaining maximum result derived by people participation and provided valuable first-hand recommendations on how to overcome such hurdles.

Christian Finn sottolinea invece dal punto di vista di Oracle. Parlando di Social Business è sciuramente importante evitare di cadere nell’hype e nel cavalacare semplicemente una parola. Recentemente mi è capitato di avere una discussione su Twitter con alcune persone che sostenevano che il Social Business non fosse altro che una nuova etichetta per vendere cose vecchie. Il social business è in realtà un modo completamente nuovo di concepire il consumatore e l’organizzazione basato su nuovi approcci, nuove strategie, nuove tecnologie.

In questo senso anche Esteban Kolsky nel suo breve contributo ci aiuta a inquadrare meglio gli scenari e le carretterstiche del Social CRM analizzando come sia possibile dai dati e dalle informazioni a processi e azioni concrete.

In his interview for the Social Business Thought-Leaders, Esteban discusses how to turn social media hype in business gains by touching upon some of the hottest topics organizations face when approaching social support:
– How to go from social media monitoring to actionable insights
– How Social CRM should be best positioned in regard to traditional CRM
– The importance of integrating social data to transactional data

More than simply adding badges, points and leaderboards to existing processes, enterprise gamification should be holistically embedded into employee and customer experience to stimulate specific behaviors. 
Listen to Ray Wang’s video-interview to learn more about the dynamics that are shaping the future of collaboration and how gamification can help organizations attain new levels of engagement

Infine, ma non per questo meno importante Ray Wang, guru mondiale della Gamification, che abbiamo anche avuto modo di intervistare in questa stessa sede prima del Forum, sottolinea le modalità attraverso cui la collaborazione può cambiare le organizzazioni.

For decades business process mapping (BPM) has been the starting point for analyzing work processes. Total Quality Management, Lean Manufacturing, Six Sigma, and Business Process Re-engineering are all methods of work management that have the “Business Process” as their point of reference – and centre of attention – for business improvement.

When we try to break down the “Business Process” term we realize that its usage stretches far beyond the mechanical workflow processes, ideally pointed out by BPM techniques. For example: are the subtle negotiations between a seller and a customer adequately represented in a process map? What about the relationship between a social worker and client, or its network of reference? And what about the network that inspired the sale of Apple’s entertainment products? The understanding of a university professor’s lesson? The treatment from an expert doctor?

We can of course describe the above operations in terms of business processes, but in order to improve such processes we need to go beyond traditional mapping and analysis methods.

Stabell and Fieldstad in their pioneering work on “Value Chains” identified how business value can be generated through methods other than those of traditional simple process analysis. They also introduced the concept of “Value Shops” to satisfy the business processes driven by experts, such as medical centres, law firms, consultancy companies or research institutions, and “Value Networks” for businesses that thrived on client interdependence, as in the case of telecommunications, banks and entertainment businesses. All of these alternative business models have traditional process chain activities, but in no way do these activities represent the key process. Subjecting these models to traditional analysis techniques essentially means improperly using available resources, thus running the risk of not achieving satisfying results.

So if your business is not centred on Value Chains, what are the alternatives? Two mature approaches are used to analyse businesses related to Value Shops and Value Networks: Social Network Analysis (SNA) and Value Network Analysis (VNA).


SNA is able to identify the people within your organisation that others depend on in terms of work processes, information and support. In this sense SNA does not mean a method that simply covers technical expertise. In fact, in our experience, SNA has often uncovered matters related to organisational expertise, i.e. to those competencies that answer the questions: “how can we make sure that things work around here?” or “how can we make sure that the procurement system works for us?”, which also help to understand the relationship channels between your experts inside the business and the rest of the organisation. This is similar to a BPM for the more mechanical processes and offers the same level of analysis and benefits.

SNA can provide information both on Value Shops and on models based on Value Networks. VNA can underline – from its perspective – Value Networks and Value Chains by pointing out the client interdependencies and shaping the tangible and intangible flows that connect the different “roles” within the organisational network. SNA works, therefore, at the personal level and VNA works at the role level.

There is a gap between the two analyses that allows us to observe how organizational roles interact at the more personal level than at the work process level. We call this analysis gap Organisational Network Analysis (ONA), which simplistically can be traced back to an SNA with the “roles” as the network nodes, instead of the individuals. It differs from VNA because the connections between roles are not detailed and explicit like value flows, but simply identified by their degree of inter-role dependency. ONA can be complementary to both SNA and VNA and can address, in different ways, all three value configurations (figure 1).

In this document we will introduce the concept of ONA and illustrate it in detail with a case study.

Where would ONA be used?

Over the years we have conducted numerous SNA and VNA activities. These investigations were not only limited to Value Shops or Value Network businesses but also to Value Chains. Inevitably there are elements of both techniques that can limit the choice of adopting them. For SNA, for example, reluctance is typically connected with privacy issues and the presence (or non-presence) of some people within the social network map emerging from the concluded analysis may be observed as “uncomfortable”. All of this can be mediated by avoiding showing the names of people on the map, but we must not forget that an SNA in fact asks people to mention individuals by name. For VNA privacy is not a problem as the unit of analysis always refers to the “role”. Tangible value flows within the map created with VNA are familiar to those practised in traditional analysis techniques. Intangible value flows are instead often related to people – or centred on relationships – which can be perceived as “foreign” by VNA participants and can take some time to practise before they are acquired. As in BPM, the entire mapping process can be time consuming as each individual role is analysed for the contents of its value flows. All of this can often limit the level of organisational analysis that can be achieved.


By considering ONA as a meeting point between SNA and VNA, it is possible to achieve the benefits of both approaches while avoiding many of the limitations.

ONA is essentially an SNA conducted at the role level. Participants are asked to nominate “roles” rather than “people” they depend on for performing their job correctly and well, together with the degree of dependence they can have on certain roles. In this case, the privacy issues that emerge with SNA are therefore avoided (or at least they are for roles that have more than one occupant!). It is also much simpler (especially compared to VNA) for participants in the analyses to indicate the roles they depend on and refer to for their work processes.

The real positive side of ONA is that it could be much easier for organisations to adopt, given that it does not require the long analysis and processing time of VNA and it does not interfere with privacy and personal issues of employees, thus avoiding becoming an “uncomfortable” and expensive procedure.


We therefore deem that ONA is best placed to be adopted by organisations intending on doing a quick and broad organisational analysis that goes beyond sim
ple business processes.

It will typically be Value Shops and Value Networks that will be able to benefit the most from ONA, although Value Chains could also be positively influenced by it. ONA can highlight these aspects in a much faster and more efficient manner than analysis processes such as BPM and VNA.

ONA Case Study

The best way to illustrate how ONA works, along with its actual benefits, is through a case study (figure 2). For our case we have chosen a large financial organisation with over 120,000 employees. The project was focused on the Information Technology Services department of over 4,000 people. Problems related to privacy and the protection of employees prevented the department from adopting a traditional SNA. The classic procedure was therefore adapted to ensure that people could nominate “roles” (and no longer nominate “individuals”) that they depend on to efficiently and effectively carry out their own work. The roles were therefore analysed at multiple levels by observing, on the company’s organisation chart, the links connecting them directly. At the top level 8 service line roles reported directly to the CIO. At the second level there were 44 business units, below which were 200 activity roles. All of these roles were well documented within the department and each service was detailed in an operations manual.

The work process. As could easily be envisaged, by a top-down management organisation, the department has performed a considerable job over the years of identifying the roles and breaking them down precisely into responsibilities and tasks. However, what were not taken into consideration were the (informal) peer-to-peer exchanges within the business. One of the main objectives of the ONA was in fact to highlight these peer-to-peer exchanges within the company.

The questionnaire. The initial study collected results only at the management levels (for a total of around 200 officers), with the intention of broadening the research at a later stage. The survey was structured so as to present activities belonging to the business units, which in turn depended on service lines, and the organisation was therefore described in classical hierarchical terms. Respondents could, however, nominate any other role – including from other areas – that they interacted with in the performance of their work, and they also had the possibility to indicate the degree of important of that interaction. The questions on interactions concerned:

  • Daily operations (day by day);
  • Problem solving support;
  • Information sharing;
  • Desire for more contact.

As the organisation was described in hierarchical terms, a report of a connection between two activities could infer a connection also between a business unit and service lines, thus facilitating analysis at different levels. In practice, however, the limited sample of 200 respondents meant that the analyses at the activity level were less significant and made it clear that a larger sample would be required.


Mapping and Analysis. The ONA results have shown data on relationships among roles and on their dependency and the strength of the links. At the highest level, the relationships are defined as a “critical dependency” of one role on another. Such links can be reciprocated, indicating a bilateral dependency of two nodes of the network (i.e. when one depends on the other and vice versa).

Figure 3 on the previous page shows the dependency links between the role activities for the daily operation relationships. The nodes represent a role activity, coloured based on the service to which they belong. The size of the node reflects the number of “mentions” received (in-degrees), underlining the importance of the node: the more a node is requested the larger it is on the map. In this case the map only shows the critical dependencies.

What is immediately noticeable is the difference between the mapping produced by the ONA and the organisation diagram typical of process mapping. As we can see the map is not at all structured and shows a lot more connections than those highlighted by the organisation chart. While we can see some areas grouped together, we can notice that the connections between service lines are not as structured as they would seem. So the question is: which is closer to reality: the organisation chart, the business process map or the ONA?

Business process mapping, when used for functional improvement, is intended to represent the performance of working processes. The analysis of the “as-is” situation is then aimed at providing the opportunity to design strategies from which the “as-is” processes can be adapted or even removed in order to improve the organisation’s performance.

But what happens when the “as-is” representation is only a false reflection of what is really happening? In an organisation based on the Value Shop style a Business Process Map could effectively show, as we have said, a patient’s stay in a medical centre, but it is very unlikely that it would be able to show the critical dependencies between roles in the centre relating to information, experience or knowledge flows existing in the organisation. In an organisation based on the Value Network style, BPM would only be able to identify linear flows, inevitably missing all the critical feedback or connections that exist in reality. Even the most sophisticated business processing tools are used to collect feedback and to facilitate the modelling of processes, and we can verify the possibility of collecting these data with classic techniques, soon realising the level of complexity that the analysis would require.

So what innovative techniques would an ONA offer? The final objective of an ONA is no different than the objective experimented with a BPM: the search for interventions that are able to improve working flows within the business and lower costs by increasing the quality of products or services offered. The analysis techniques and the related methods differentiating the two approaches are shown in the following table:

BPM Analysis Techniques ONA Techniques
Mapping of transactional flows Mapping of dependence between network nodes
Starts with “stock and flows” Starts with relationships among people
Looks for inefficient flows Looks for complex interactions and interdependencies
Analyses capacity and use Analyses capability and involvement
Optimisation has a mathematical interpretation Optimisation has a behavioural interpretation

As the table shows, ONA is an approach much more centred on people than BPM. The success of this type of analysis is enhanced for all organisations that are focused on relationships among people and on the supply of services, such as the medical, legal, financial, educational or social work sectors, which, as we know, nowadays dominate the most advanced economies. The following analysis techniques, applied in this case study, have been adapted or extended by consolidated and largely tested SNA techniques, and re-studied specifically to be applied to the organisational context.

Demand (and supply) analysis

The netwo
rk diagram shown in figure 4 identifies the connections between roles by directional arrows. If role A is pointing to role B it means that someone in role A has nominated someone in role B as a “critical” connection for him/her. From a supply and demand point of view we could interpret this context as role A as demander and role B as supplier. In this sense, the roles that have many recurrences (called “in-degrees”) are high in demand. The following table shows which of the 44 business units were most in demand by the observed network.

The business units most in demand can be easily represented as bottlenecks. In fact, a simple efficiency measure of a company could be calculated and guessed simply based on how much the work is spread out within the organisation.

Criticality analysis

Networks placed where there are concentrations of demand on only a few nodes suggest the presence of critical units that are potentially at risk of becoming bottlenecks in the organisation. We can measure and carry out benchmarks of these bottlenecks by making an estimate of criticalities (figure 5):


We can notice how 27% of activities correspond to 50% of connections. Although we would not expect all activities to be equally in demand, this diagram provides us with a scale of the organisation’s robustness. For example, if we found a business in which the main activities (10%) represented 50% of the connections, we would have to deduce that the organisation in question was much more vulnerable (from the point of view of achieving inferior performance) than the company that we examined in our case study.

Value Sources and Value Sinks

When we look at a map of an organisation from the point of view of supply and demand of value, it is possible to understand how various roles and the activities they perform relate to each other by identifying the roles from which there is higher demand for help and those which supply more help. If a correct mapping is carried out, it is also possible to identify the balance of the company by identifying the Value Sources (those in demand) and the Value Sinks (those who demand).

Figure 6 shows a map highlighting the connections between nodes of the same network in relation to supply and demand. In this case the colours identify the Value Sources or the Value Sinks. The size of the nodes depends on the number of connections and the thickness of the linking lines identifies the strength of dependence. Value Sinks are roles that tend to demand more than they supply, whilst the opposite can be said of Value Sources.

What should we try to deduce from this analysis? On a first, more superficial, level, we can note that Value Sinks are negative because they drain energy and demand more than they supply, so they require constant work. On a second level, we can understand how even Value Sources, if too strong, can be negative. This is because the widened size of one of the nodes shows a lack of capability to respond effectively and efficiently to the organisation network. And perhaps a lack of capability could be due to a lack of desire to draw knowledge from other sources.

In this case study, showing the analysis results to individuals in charge of the organisation caused a considerable amount of discussion, also due to the fact that an ONA had been conducted for the first time. We highlighted for the executive committee the example of the change management unit as a Value Sink, which appeared as a node able to absorb large resources compared to the amount it supplies. The CIO informed us that the unit had been broken up just a few days before, suggesting that the analysis conducted was valid.


New visions and future implications

We have already underlined our belief that ONA can be a useful method able to provide a detailed business process analysis without wasting excessive resources, especially compared to BPM and Value Network Analysis.

The analysis of Value Sources and Value Sinks allowed us to immediately identify the areas requiring a more detailed analysis or a greater amount of attention than others. When we identify some business units as Value Sources or Value Sinks, we can ask ourselves why our business has assumed this organisational dimension. For example, we can review the competency level of the individual units that have been identified as Value Sources or Value Sinks.

Figure 7 suggests some possible improvement interventions for the Value Sink/Value Sources issue. A low competency Value Sink can be explained in light of a new position, of a new hire or in any case of any skill-set being formed and that is still gaining the correct competencies to interact with the other roles. The action to take could therefore be to support the role (in terms of time and competencies) in an attempt to make it become more efficient. If the Value Sink is instead highly competent, it is possible that it is not so visible – or accessible – within the organisation and a possible solution could be to promote its role or review the network configuration. In other cases, such as the Change Management Business Unit of our case study, we could consider breaking up and reassigning that role to other roles.

As regards Value Sources with low competency, their roles should be trained and helped to access different roles, so that they can improve their own competency and grow. If the Value Sources are already competent it is therefore possible that their existing resources are insufficient and the demand cannot be efficiently met.

The ONA results can also be usefully used to focus on the processes and activities carried out by Value Networks. A specific focus on the interaction with a good number of Value Sources and Sinks is likely to provide the best return when applied to these complementary analytical techniques.



We have presented Organisational Network Analysis as a technique to review the approach to Business Process Mapping and more focused on the personal and organizational dimension.

We have called these new business models Value Shop and Value Networks, which are much more dependent on the optimisation of the processes within them, on the general improvement of competencies and on the certainty that information and knowledge are truly shared within the whole organisation. In cases like these, simply mapping the work processes prevents us from grasping the real essence and concrete configuration of the business.

We have distinguished ONA from SNA suggesting that, by maintaining the focus on the role, rather than on the personal level, organisations were freer to operate without running into legal constraints caused by the management of employees’ privacy. The case study was used to show how a simple application – on a limited sample – of ONA is able to provide useful information for interpreting the organisational context and the functioning of processes at multiple levels of association. Through a simple analysis of Value Sinks and Value Sources, businesses can easily identify internal problems and take quick action in ord
er to curb them. Alternatively, it provides a valid starting point that can be crossed with other analyses already experimented with, such as Value Network Analysis and Business Process Mapping.

Originally posted on Social Business Manifesto – An Harvard Business Review Italia publication. Written by Laurence Lock Lee and Rosario Sica –

Emanuele Scotti, Rosario Sica, Emanuele Quintarelli

“Markets are conversations”
Cluetrain Manifesto, March 1999

Collaborative mechanisms are radically changing the way in which markets function and the way in which organizations create value. Consumer behaviour is becoming ever more conditioned by the reputation of companies among consumers and influence among peers, often leaving businesses themselves out of the conversation. How does marketing, advertising or CRM re-establish itself in the new millennium?

The method previously relied upon to organize work – born during the manufacturing industry era in order to segment and control industrial production, a method which has reached the present day almost intact – appears inadequate and clumsy in managing the need for reactivity, innovation and agility in today’s organizations. How can we regain efficiency and speed? How can we free the great potential of intelligence, creativity and energy that is exploding onto the business network but which is still trapped in the bureaucracy of modern organizations? These questions go beyond popular phenomena or trends and critically examine business and management practices and convictions in today’s society.

This is a reflection that dates far back and that has re-emerged over recent years in a devastating manner, taking the name of Social Business. Social Business is how a business operates in the era of interconnectivity. Social Business is a new way of organizing work and relationships with a business ecosystem.

Management disciplines have developed great capacities to make stable and repetitive processes efficient over time. Businesses are now being asked to be more agile, to continually redefine themselves, to provide a relevance to service and customer experience, and more. This makes those capacities no longer sufficient and, in some cases, even dangerous.

In this context, the emerging models of Social Business, both inside and outside an organization, are starting to show their value.

If we really want to create something entirely new, we need to start looking around in a new way, otherwise we will continue to behave as we always have. To create new things, we need to look at creating a newer version of ourselves. Let’s consider another period of great transformation, that of the transition from the medieval era to the modern day. The person who best represents this change is Christopher Columbus. Discovering America is in itself an intriguing story for those who study innovation. When we look at great moments of change, we often risk making the mistake of seeing things in a linear manner: some have thought that to do a certain thing, you need to plan the journey and then you will arrive at the destination. However, when you are on the journey of change it is nothing like this. It wasn’t like this in 1492. The story behind the discovery of America is full of errors; Christopher Columbus was convinced up until his death that he had shown the way to the West Indies and not that he had discovered a new continent. It took twenty years to correct this mistake. In order for people to understand that an unknown continent had indeed been discovered, Western Europeans had to change their own opinions and create new maps.

In times of great change things like this happen: you discover things which you never expected to discover. And in turn your convictions, identity, and cognitive processes change.

So why this introduction? Because today we find ourselves in a time very similar to the end of the medieval era, a time of great confusion. And for those of us who work in the world of organizations, it’s easy to see that in all of this confusion, traditional values and managerial models are heavily involved.

The first point to consider is that we need to change some of our convictions. The current management models for our companies no longer work. We have made management a science; we have tried to transform people into machines; we have divided work tasks into segments, taking significance away from the things we do whilst we work; we have depersonalized things in order to try to control the work place; we have tried to standardize work to guarantee the possibility of repeating services without unforeseen events.

This type of organization worked well when the theme of the business was repetition. It becomes a model that works far less well when the nature of the business is knowledge-based, striving for constant innovation, within an intangible environment.

We don’t have the organization and the appropriate technology for the era that we are living in.

Just as at the time of Christopher Columbus, even we need new maps, especially because it is very difficult to manage things that we are not capable of seeing. These new maps are obliged to work with a technological infrastructure that has only been created in the last few years – the Web, more specifically, Social Media – which is interesting not only in itself, but also for the social behaviour it allows.


The dynamic that emerges by collaborating with other people online can be represented by a curve showing increasing marginal returns (Fig. 1): the overall growth corresponds to overall input. If we learn to harness the power of patrimonial intelligence and the energy of group work the value that is generated grows exponentially. For a long time we have been used to performance curves which in general have decreasing marginal returns, such as the typical curve of experience. (Fig. 2)


This comparison is very interesting, as it opens up possibilities for us of radical innovation which we don’t even know how to see using our current cognitive processes. We are in a time of great changes, but we think of change in an old way, as something linear, where we have to say where we should go, what the expected ROI is, what the benchmark of reference is, and what the plan of action is in order to reach the goal. But we will never get anywhere if we do not change our way of observing things. We could discover, for example, that – as happens on the internet – if organisations also moved their attention from codifying content (archiving documents, procedures, rules) to protecting connections they would have improved efficiency spaces in front of them. Controlling communication flows among individuals is becoming more important today than controlling the content of the communication itself.

This adjustment must be made quickly, because the world is moving faster than ever. As the Queen of Hearts says in Alice in Wonderland, we must run, but we must run just to stay in the same place. There are emerging countries that are running much more than us; the phenomena that we have already mentioned are creating markets with different rules. The customer is now social (“social customer”) and much more efficient in making the most of the information on companies and products than the companies are themselves. The same thing is happening in some way within companies, with the birth and self-organization of communities and spontaneous networks favoured by technologies, often operating consistently with the organization’s project, but sometimes not.

This tendency has grown from a new generation of young people, who bring with them a completely different culture from that of the organisations that we have created. In this generation, there are completely new
concepts of belonging, of boundaries, of mine and yours, and of collaboration. Businesses must therefore act and act fast. Many of them are already doing so, while others are trying.

Many of them are aware that they have lost control of their own brand, which is passing into the hands of the people who are online – people who discuss their experiences, leave comments, and give criticism in more far-reaching, and more appreciated ways than traditional communication initiatives and campaigns. As Chris Anderson says, we are no longer what we say we are but what Google says we are. The voice of the consumer has gradually become more important in the creation of the image and the reputation of the brand.

A lot needs to be done to create an organisation and infrastructure which are more in line with today’s economy and social context.


First and foremost, we must create infrastructures of emerging collaboration, i.e. infrastructures which have increasing returns. People have to be able to build trust and resources, they have to be able to organize themselves, they have to be able to solve their problems collaboratively (Fig. 3). This must be done through the integration of two worlds: that of traditional organization (which nevertheless remains necessary for defining responsibilities, plans and tasks) and that of new forms of organization and the emerging collaborative network, which are necessary for dealing with unforeseen circumstances. There is also a lot to be done on the external front – engaging with the client (fig 4).


We need to talk to clients. We need to stop shouting; we have to listen and understand how they use products and what they want. Companies can carry out “social marketing” activities, letting enthusiastic clients “infect” others. They can use social networks to generate sales, and provide customer care and innovation together with clients. There are also plenty of examples of this.

We have to look at innovation from a new perspective, a less linear, less planned and exploratory perspective (Fig. 5). Networks are much more efficient at this than hierarchically organised groups, because when we explore something new we need to believe it, we need to have different points of view, we need to organize ourselves each time in line with the task at hand, and networks are much more efficient at this. Today is no longer about evangelization; that was the case years ago, when we started our project and launched the Enterprise 2.0 Forum in 2008. Today this has become mainstream. So what kind of company do we imagine? It’s an open, emerging and collaborative organisation, in which we need to talk to people outside the company with feedback flows precisely because we are organised inside the company with similar flows. The organisation can therefore do social media marketing, innovation/crowdsourcing, collaborative support with clients, and more.


We need courage, energy and faith in order to make this journey. But above all, we need to wear the right glasses, and look at new phenomena with new eyes. Only at that point will we discover that we have reached a new land of opportunities.

  1. Chaos is simplicity that we cannot  see yet
  2. Organisations are conversations
  3. Entropy is born from trying to use new tools to do old things, or from using old tools to do new things
  4. E-mail has been overtaken by more open and emerging exchange platforms. Organizations should abolish their internal use of e-mail
  5. When faced with ever more complex and inter-connected problems, decision-making architecture – represented by modern business and governance models anchored in a hierarchical command-control principle – shows all its inadequacy
  6. The road must be the culture of risk: new perspectives do not open up without risks
  7. Clients know the products much better than the companies that produce them
  8. Those who work expect in some way to be able to participate in the organizational project; malaise is generated by the impossibility of this participation
  9. In order to see new phenomena we need to build new tools of analysis and measurement
  10. Organisations are living organisms. Even before generating products they generate and transform knowledge
  11. The ability to generate and transform knowledge makes organizations emerge or decline in the knowledge economy
  12. Knowledge is generated and transformed in conversations among employees, among clients and between clients and employees
  13. Conversations go beyond walls and roles and favour relationships of trust that are difficult to condition
  14. The weak point of knowledge management is the management
  15. Collaboration is the challenge for modern organizations. We have only just begun to deal with this; the management tools currently available are inadequate for the purpose, as they were born in another era and for opposite objectives.
  16. Collaboration does not (only) mean coordination, planning, and role management. Collaboration means putting collective intelligence to good use
  17. Today we need to come together, create stories and common meanings, involve personal feelings, find ways to engage with people
  18. Organizations that are inflexible risk extinction
  19. High-performance organizations have disorganization and weak links as their strong point
  20. There is much more intelligence in our organizations than management is willing to recognize
  21. The intelligence in organizations today is trapped in procedures, customs and roles
  22. It is difficult to direct a conversation; it is easier to feed it or silence it for good
  23. An economic crisis is also a crisis of management models and work organization models
  24. Today, man’s great works are born from conversations, and often they don’t need governance
  25. The knowledge of organizations today lies more in connections than in company databases
  26. Teamwork, integration, collaboration: organizations are cramming themselves full of concepts that are ever further from their own practices
  27. The market today has a faster and more articulate intelligence than the intelligence of organizations
  28. Organizations react to stimuli in their market with a speed that is inversely
    proportional to their size
  29. HR’s plans hide the fear of freeing the energy and intelligence found within the organization
  30. Clients, like employees, are looking for a contact and a dialogue but instead find rubber walls with high-sounding names: call centres, customer care, direct lines
  31. Consultants strengthen the status quo: they try to bring complexity to the pre-established order but by doing this they increase entropy as they simply move the disorder to another level
  32. Disruptive innovation does not occur in  R&D departments: it occurs by mixing points of view and knowledge in new and open connections
  33. One-way intranets are useless; Social Intranets can today become the nervous system that allows an organism to feel and act as a unit: they allow the exchange of stimuli, the accumulation of memory, the formation of identity and the coordination of actions
  34. Today there is a need to come together: to connect the dots (vision) but also to connect people and create autopoietic (self-creation) systems
  35. Reputation is the key
  36. Centre and outskirts are concepts of the last century. Online, centrality is a function of authority and visibility
  37. Listen, listen, listen: it’s the client who tells you who you are
  38. In the knowledge economy you don’t have to know everything but you do have to be well connected
  39. From the knowledge economy to the gift economy…
  40. The business process emerges bottom up, learns constantly and adapts itself according to feedback from employees and clients
  41. Think in a new way: abandon slideshows and restructure work spaces.
  42. Listening to conversations is not enough. We need to draw meaning from them and direct change
  43. Your employees come first. Without their involvement your Marketing department will never be able to engage customers
  44. Consulting firms are not needed to build new organisations.
  45. Ideas from clients, employees and suppliers are just as good as those from management
  46. Social Business is not a new technology, it’s a new type of company
  47. Looking at the market through the eyes of the product and socio-demographic segments has lost its value. Let’s seek out passions, needs, tribes
  48. A company is centred on the client when it is able to look at itself from the outside, knocking down barriers both internally and externally
  49. Bottom-up innovation does not mean carrying out everything that the clients ask for. It means understanding the problem that the clients want solved and helping them to solve it
  50. Socializing processes does not mean creating new silos, even if they are social. It means breaking down traditional and social silos.
  51. Only working for a wage never makes the difference. People today are looking for a common mission
  52. Opening a Facebook page is easy. Opening the doors of a company and welcoming clients is difficult
  53. Companies hardly ever know what the client wants because they have always been afraid to listen
  54. Communities of people are not created and managed. Communities attract members and are cultivated by them
  55. The new management model is closer to cultivating a community than to leading a flock
  56. Change starts from the early adopters, but sustainable change reaches everyone else
  57. Customer service is the new marketing
  58. The only way to balance the excess of information in which we are drowning is by adding more information that acts as a filter
  59. A group of kids has created more innovation in the last 15 years than IBM, Microsoft and Oracle put together

Social Business Manifesto is proudly written by OpenKnowledge team. Learn more on –