When we use the word “social” most businesses think in terms of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn or having a blog with the social network icons on their web site. This represents a clear lack of understanding of the fundamental shifts occurring before our eyes yet most cannot see.
We cannot see what we don’t understand. To truly understand something we have to listen to the meaning not just the words. The easy way to do something you don’t completely understand is to copy someone else who seems to understand. The old school has taken this thing called “social” and dominated its use as an extension of marketing tactics disguised as new media.
The language of the marketplace relevant to all things social demonstrates an attempt to create new results without a change in thinking. You cannot create new results without creating new value and new value comes from new meaning.
New Meaning Comes From Understanding the Language
Nilofer Merchant writes ”So much of old-school capitalism has been about “value capture”. Capture as in overtake, dominate, control. We aim at our target market; we defend market share; we attack competition; we control price and supply chains; we win customers. Yet modern reality shows us that uninformed customers and top-down organization have given way to a vocal participant and an interconnected way of creating value. Competitive advantages which were once held for comfy 40-year arcs are now valid for 12 years in most industries and five years in fast-moving ones.”
“In the social era, individual humans connected together can now accomplish what once only centralized large organizations could. Language encodes our thinking. To write a new future, we need to use a new language. Let’s stop focusing on the overly narrow term “social media”. Let’s simply be social.”
The new language dynamics are changing old mental models of business, redefining work, replacing the meaningless with meaningful and using collaboration to create abundance rather than a scarcity of probable solutions. Collaboration is an intangible strategic asset that keeps on creating and giving more strategic value to not only your stockholders but all your stakeholders as well.
Sometimes we have to slow down in order to speed up. Let’s not simply follow the crowd and continue to copy “current practices”. If we take the time to understand the meaning behind the “people’s” language then we’ll come to learn that the only real way to improve results is to learn how to create more value. That takes a different kind of thinking and a different kind of conversation.