200910211447.jpg I'm a believer and supporter of the social business transformation that is starting, and that should come as no surprise to anyone who reads this blog. There are a wealth of concepts that could be applied to business that were learned (or at least started) by web 2.0 and the social web. Also, the nature of web 2.0 lends itself to grass roots and viral expansion so many businesses have found themselves "doing" social business without ever having made a decision to implement a change. While I applaud these heroics, I have for some time had an uncomfortable feeling about the scalability or even the advisability of this occurrence (not that I think these efforts could or should be stopped).

The point is that if a business wants to effect a true transformation to a social business there must be a broad culture shift in the organization in addition to making tools and processes that enable the change available. I spent a good deal of my early software career managing the implementation of large software projects and I can say with some authority that without a methodology, a risk mitigation approach, the correct skills and change management a project is doomed. Businesses need enterprise class, scalable social tools, social processes and knowledgeable assistance to pull off this level of business transformation.

Earlier this week some colleagues announced a partnership that is both good news for businesses that want to do social transformation projects but also an indication that social business is growing up. The Pragmatic Enterprise 2.0 is a venture / partnership between Dion Hinchcliffe (Hinchcliffe & Co.), Michael Krigsman (Asuret) and Ross Mayfield (SocialText). If you want to read the details and some analysis of the announcement check out Sameer Patel's blog, and also Paul Greenberg's ZDNet blog, they both had done a great job providing the details of the announcement. The partnership is important for several reasons:

  1. This is a "grown up" approach to implementing e2.0 / social business initiatives, one of the few I've seen so far. If the social business transformation is to happen it needs this kind of robust and complete approach.
  2. The partnership brings together (a) proven expertise and a methodology, (b) an established and proven risk management methodology and risk management software application, and (c) a robust, enterprise class social platform on which to build and deploy the necessary tools.
  3. The potential for accelerated evolution of methods, processes and practices, as their framework, in its new, more complete form, is applied to real world problems and the learning that happens there captured and rolled back in to the approach.
  4. This approach has a much greater chance of creating success, and frankly, the more successful social businesses we help create, the more we can make other businesses realize the power of this transformation.

Here's a graphic representation of the Pragmatic e2.0 framework:

Congratulations to the partners, we'll be looking for some compelling success stories in the near future!