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on April 30, 2012
Earlier books I've read about social media -- Groundswell, The Social Organization, Get Bold and others--seemed more forward-looking about how social media could change organizations based on early findings and early case situations. Social Business by Design feels a little further "down the road" with more statistics, more firmly established cases, less experimentation, and more of a call to action. This is something you MUST do if you plan to compete with other organizations that have made or started their transitions to becoming social businesses. As telling as the success stories were, a couple of examples showed the dangers of not having considered the social environment. The authors describe how the lack of social response capabilities hurt Toyota with their sudden acceleration problem and BP with the Gulf spill. The implication seems clear. As people expect to communicate socially, you can no longer afford to ignore them.

As they work through their cases, Hinchcliffe and Kim build a list of 10 social business tenets that can be used across most situations. Their pattern is to look at some case situations, analyze the issues that were addressed with social business solutions, explain how a more established environment is making such solutions more mainstream, and then derive each successive tenet. This is an effective way to evaluate how business motivations and solutions are working in an emerging social environment with almost no discussion of the technological opportunities. While technology is in no way downplayed, this seems like the right way to frame social business--given that we are in an innovation environment where thousands of options and applications are available for an organization to choose from in matching its social platform to the needs of its culture and the openness of its people to change. And more to choose from every day.

In multiple examples they point out how hard it is for organizations to give up control. That many companies still want to exert some level of oversight rather than letting all members communicate directly with each other. They admit that such reluctance will probably continue in many organizations, but that sooner rather than later organizations will see the true benefit of letting go and empowering the network do what it has shown it can do.

This book will make you feel that there may be more risk in not moving forward toward becoming a social business. It provides great cases and ideas for how to proceed forward from a business more than from a technical perspective. It doesn't tell you how to make the move, but it can't do that because each organization's culture and opportunities are different.

It was interesting that the Dachis Group (earlier founders of Razorfish) has created this blueprint for adopting social business strategies. Razorfish was a key player as companies started to develop their Web strategies 12-14 years ago. When that bubble crashed, there was less focus and spotlighting of Web strategies but that didn't stop companies from moving much of their processes to the Internet. In the last five years, pioneering organizations have worked to make those Web strategies more interactive and to become more social. Dachis seems well positioned again to help their clients in this phase of development as well.
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on August 10, 2017
Required reading for a grad school class. Some good content. Will go back and review the book at a later time to learn more.
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on July 11, 2013
Some good stuff but a lot of fluff.

Some unsubstantiated statements with weak logic and vaguely supportive case studies - I agree with what was being said, but I was hoping this book would better bridge the gap better between premise and proof.
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on October 2, 2013
I would definitely recommend this book to people of any age. The book is great for those interested in any type of digital marketing, or even for those who don't know much about marketing their company, product, or service online. This book will teach you how!
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on April 28, 2012
Social Business By Design: Transformative Social Media Strategies for the Connected Company

I pre-ordered this book and eagerly awaited it's arrival based on Peter Kim and Dion Hinchcliffe's reputations as real truth tellers of social business and wasn't disappointed. Every chapter is structured around real case studies of business transformation. The book names names of who/what/why/how and most importantly the benefits gained through social business adoption. This is the book executives have been waiting for. It grounds this very confusing business trend in the hard reality of day to day operations.

If you have even been toying with the notion of implementing social business principles in your organization you must buy and read this book.
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on July 30, 2012
If you don't work for a Fortune 500 company you won't learn anything you can use. If you do work for a Fortune 500 company, someone is already doing that job. The challenge most people have is how Social Business applies to small caps and private i.e. <$100M, companies - which is where most of us work.

PS
I thought Michael Brito's book was better.
8 helpful votes
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on May 25, 2012
"Social Business by Design" shows how social media can have far-reaching impacts beyond its commonly known applications for marketing and customer service. The book makes a bold assertion that companies can transform all aspects of their business through social media, including HR, Operations, and R&D. For instance, the book discusses how organizations have successfully used social for product co-creation through a network of crowd-sourcing partners. One of the underlying themes of the book is the increasingly influential role and sophisticated nature of the community manager. The book asserts that social businesses actually need two types of community managers: one for public facing functions like marketing and the other for internal facing needs such as knowledge management. After reading this book, I think any executive will start thinking of the value of a community manager as an important contributor to social businesses. In fact, I wonder if the term "community manager" is a misnomer -- community owner is more like it. I recommend the book for showing how businesses can orient a wide range of operations around social.
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on May 16, 2012
The social business space is an incredibly complex one, and anyone trying to capture all of its nuances in a book has their work cut out for them. Peter & Dion successfully pull off that unenviable task. They were able to walk that fine line between the practical and the theoretical, and do it well. The only criticism I have, and it's a small one, is that a few areas of the book are a bit academic in their language, but they should still be navigable by most executives and practitioners. If this is a space you're interested in learning more about you can't go wrong with giving this a read. That one criticism, and the fact that I'm friends with one of the authors is the reason for the 4 star rating. I didn't want to seem too biased so I set a very high bar for this book to meet, which it obviously did. Technically, I compete against these gentlemen, so if I'm willing to come here and give it high praise I hope that would give you confidence in making this purchase. Congrats to you Peter & Dion, well done.
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on May 8, 2012
In a field where snake oil consultants offer vague prescriptions and poor advice, this book rises to the level of "must read."

The authors are experienced practitioners, and genuine leaders, in the growing field of encouraging collaborative culture in the service of real business problems. Enabled by the rise of cloud, social, and mobile technologies, social business offers a means to bring a variety of benefits to organizations of every size and type. At the same time, achieving these goals requires business judgment and experience that few authors actually possess. Unlike Hinchcliffe and Kim, many authors in this field offer little more than poorly constructed opinions with little substance or depth.

In contrast, this book reflects the authors' depth of experience advising a broad range of organizations on how to realize practical benefits that genuinely improve business processes. The material is presented clearly in a confident and engaging writing style, making liberal use of graphics and instructive stories. This straightforward approach yields a book that is suitable for senior executives, middle managers, and anyone else interested in this important topic.

I have personally written 1000 blog articles for ZDNet on topics stressing the importance of communication, collaboration, and knowledge sharing in creating business and management success. Given my own belief in the importance of social business, I am delighted to recommend this book without reservation.
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on June 23, 2012
Social Business is not new, nor is social media, but as companies struggle to figure out what to do in the Web 2.0 that we live in, Dion and Peter's book give you a playbook on what to do and how to get there around best practices and case studies around social business. A complete framework, practical examples and expert guidance for executing a social business plan and must read!
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