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The two meanings of Social Business and the future of Knowledge Management

Posted to Gurteen Knowledge-Log by David Gurteen on 20 January 2011



The two meanings of Social Business and the future of Knowledge Management
WeblogGurteen Knowledge Log
Knowledge LetterAppears in the Gurteen Knowledge Letter issue: 127
Posted DateThursday 20 January 2011 15:05 GMT
Posted ByDavid Gurteen
Linkshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_business ... 
http://www.muhammadyunus.org/Social-Business/social-business ... 
http://www.elsua.net/2010/12/22/the-future-of-the-workplace- ... 
http://www.elsua.net/2010/12/22/enterprise-2-0-vs-social-bus ... 
CategoriesSocial Business; Social Good
PeopleMuhammad Yunus 

Many of you may have noticed a new term kicking around the Enterprise 2.0 and Social Media space - that of Social Business. Its precise meaning is still the subject of debate - see the discussion on Quora: What are the distinctions between Social Business and Enterprise 2.0? One good definition, that I like, also from Quora is "The application of social principles - transparency, open information access, collaboration, participation, crowdsourcing, engagement - to the conduct of business."

But the term Social Business has an alternative meaning that has been around a little longer than in the Enterprise 2.0 sense.

A Social Business is a non-loss, non-dividend company designed to address a social objective. This use of the term has grown from the work of people like Muhammad Yunus and the Grameen Bank that he founded to provide micro-credit to the poor, would be a prime example of a Social Business. The measure of success of a social business is not profit but the impact that it has on society, on people and on the environment.

To my mind, we need more social businesses to create a sustainable world. In order to survive: we need to collaborate more, to make better decisions and to be more innovative. This to me is what Knowledge Management is about and is its future. It’s Social Business in both senses of the term.

If you are interested in Knowledge Management, the Knowledge Café or the role of conversation in organizational life then you my be interested in this online book I am writing on Conversational Leadership
David Gurteen

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