Enterprise social network dimensions

Many organizations are using social media and social networks, but how do they know if they are using them appropriately or adequately? Do they have all the aspects of collaboration and cooperation supported in order to succeed as a social business? I started looking at how we can begin to make sense of enterprise social networks from an organizational performance perspective and found a few good sources and have woven these together for what I hope is a useful performance support tool, or at least a conversation starter.

Ian McCarthy’s honeycomb of social media was an initial inspiration, showing how one could quickly and graphically portray differences between social media platforms. The Altimeter Group’s recent report on making the business case for enterprise social networks provided more detail on what happens inside organizations. Finally, Oscar Berg’s digital workplace concretized gave a good picture of what people-centric, service-oriented businesses should look like.

I put these concepts together within the framework of a coherent enterprise that supports both collaborative and cooperative behaviours. I hope it provides some clarity and would appreciate any feedback or further building upon these ideas. Thanks to all those who have shared so that I could play with these ideas, and hopefully create something useful.


5 Responses to “Enterprise social network dimensions”

  1. Jon Husband

    Well done.

    Geez, that two-step shuffle (or at least diagnostics & prognostications about it) between tacit & explicit knowledge have been going on for a long time .. 15 yrs at least.

    I’m sure this is too simplistic but (with a podcast of a discussion between myself and Dave Snowden in mind) .. we discussed how the arrival of social ‘tools’ and the dynamics of horizontal interactions & purposeful activities that arrival engendered would have made all the difference to the domain of knowledge ‘management’ back when. I think that something you have written much about .. narrating your work (and interactions) in visible ways provides some pretty decent first steps to understanding and benefitting from that the two-step shuffle suggested above. Not unlike reading the comments section of a (commented-upon) blog post, especially when the same people tend to come back and participate over time in the discussions. If you read and do the personal-sense-making we all do in looking for themes, threads, inflections of personality, ideologies, etc. you start to get a look at the tacit stuff each of us holds. It takes time, and discipline I think.

  2. Ara Ohanian

    Harold. Thanks for an invaluable piece of work which should start a valuable dialogue with anyone interested in enterprise social networks. Yu are right that enterprise social networks are not the same as consumer social media and I like the way you make it clear that the value in enterprise social networks comes from moving from capturing knowledge to enabling action. And that this is best done by having the right mix of social enterprise tools. Too many people get fixated on one tool or technique rather than seeing the bigger picture. I look forward to reading more in the future. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)