Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Phases of social business maturity


If you follow the topic of social business, you’ve probably seen a five-step model that depicts the different stages that a large enterprise progresses through on their way to fulfilling the vision of social business.
Interestingly, these models don’t say a lot about how to get from one phase or stage to the next. Stage three, for example, may consist of three things – but what’s the important part?  
Where do companies get stuck? What do you really need to complete in order to get to the next level?  
The Dachis Group has a model that looks like this, encompassing five stages, beginning with “ad hoc” approaches and culminating in a “unified social business strategy”. IDC also has a five-stage model, which begins with “experimentation” and ends with “optimisation”.  
The strategy firm Ant’s Eye View defines progress as a five-stage journey, starting with “traditional” business practices and ending with a ”fully engaged enterprise”.
Let’s start with a model that’s not too different than the ones we identified above. Here’s the model we use at Lithium:
A couple of differences I’ll point out. We define the journey not in terms of what you’re doing inside your business, but rather in terms of what you are creating for your customer.  I think we’d all agree that, before there was a social business, there was a social customer.  
In some ways, it’s the customer who has driven the transformation so far. And of course the customer is in some way the ultimately judge of what we do – so let’s reflect that in our model.

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