Review: The Connected Company by @davegray

One common approach to dissecting social business into its key components is separating people, process, and technology. You can find plenty of discussion out there about technology – just read TechCrunch every day. There have been a couple of good social business books written about people, like Open Leadership and Empowered. In The Connected Company, Dave Gray has written a book that brings it all together with an engaging and lucid right-brain perspective.

Customers are connecting. Are you?

The Social Businesspeople Archetypes

There are a lot of voices out there when it comes to social business. There are also a lot of opinions on which voices matter. Who are the best experts? Who has klout? What about skills?

When you step back and take note of topics that people generally focus on and engage around, patterns emerge. To get a full perspective on social business from theory to practice, it’s important to subscribe/follow a cross-section of these key archetypes.

Whither social business?

Consider this consulting question: “If I were re-creating this company today, given what I know and the current level of technology, what would it look like?” Sounds like a contemporary social business question, right? It could be, but the original context predates “social business” by two decades. It’s the key question from “Reengineering the Corporation,” …

The definition of social business

“Social business” is a term you can’t escape these days—even if your work just remotely touches on social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter, or collaborative technologies, such as IBM Connections or Yammer.

But what does “social business” mean? And why should you care?

With Facebook IPO, Social Business Becomes Key

We published this a couple weeks ago at CNBC. Although Facebook’s IPO has been widely panned, it’s important to keep in mind that the company still has a market cap of over $65 billion – that’s pretty big. And that valuation has meaningful implications for social business.

Reviews of Social Business By Design

Social Business By Design has been out for a couple weeks and we’re hearing great feedback on the book:


  • “If you work in social media you have to buy a copy.” – Forbes
  • “For those trying to sell their companies on why social business makes sense, passing around a few copies of this book would be a good way to start.” – Information Week
  • “The graphics in this book are worth the price of the book alone.” – ZDNet

Sharing “Social Business By Design” #SBBD

Today is the official publication date of Social Business By Design. It’s been a whirlwind three-year journey from the original blog post that introduced the world to “social business” to a full book describing how to make strategy and tactics succeed.


  • If you’re a seasoned social business practitioner, you’ll find value in the frameworks, outlines, and visual thinking. As one early reviewer wrote, “the graphics in this book are worth the price of the book alone.” We relied on the information design talents of our colleagues formerly known as XPLANE to help make the 30+ graphics make sense, in addition to the decades of strategy, technology, and marketing experience incorporated into our thinking.

We’re happy to share parts of the book with you in this excerpt in Fast Company and a download of Chapter 5. If you want more, the book is available at and 800-CEO-READ (< best price).

What Matters In Social Business?

[this post originally published at CMSWire.]

There’s no doubt that social business has arrived. In three short years, we’ve adopted this umbrella concept to encompass function-specific concepts like word of mouth marketing, consumer advocacy, and Enterprise 2.0. But what exactly is social business? As a definition:

a social business harnesses fundamental tendencies in human behavior via emerging technology to improve strategic and tactical outcomes

There’s a lot more to unpack in support of that statement – so let’s talk about what matters in social business.

Ford as Social Business


Last week I visited Ford and attended the North American International Auto Show, along with around 150 other social media folks from around the world. (Ford paid the bill for my travel and hotel; I wasn’t paid for consulting and this post is a personal opinion.) There were Mom and Dad bloggers, design bloggers, green bloggers, and a collection of random others. Besides US attendees, I met people from Canada, Germany, and China. It was – to use an old Ford tagline – a bold move: invest in hosting a big group of virtual loudmouths in your backyard and at your facilities and let them talk about whatever they want.