Social Business Forcing Companies to Reorganize Internally

2 minute read
Anthony Myers avatar


Perhaps the most widespread tenet of organization in the enterprise isthat of command and control, an idea that seems somehow counter to thenotion of democratized information. Social business then, it should be no surprise to hear, is forcing companies to reorganize internally.

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Gradual Shift, Not Tectonic Upheaval

It's a gradual shift, one noticed by the Altimeter Group in its The Evolution of Social Business report. We covered the six stages of becoming a social business when the report came out in March, but some new data has been highlighted in a recent blog post by Altimeter researcher Jeremiah Owyang on how social business is affecting companies' organizational alignments.

As social tools force information to become less centralized, the shift is forcing more companies to develop a so called multiple hub and spoke model of organization, Owyang reported. As the above image shows, between 2010 and 2012, the number of companies adopting this approach has grown by more than 5%.

The number of companies moving toward the dandelion model should continue to grow year after year, Owyang wrote. Under this model, business units manage social, and decisions are made outside the centralized team. In contrast to the multiple hub and spoke model is the most popular organization type, the hub and spoke. In this configuration, a coordinated team is in charge of social business. However, as social is embraced by regional teams and product lines, companies will be forced to reorganize in some way.

Holistic Approach Not Widespread

A holistic approach, where most employees use social in an agreed upon way, is not a popular organizational model in the enterprise, and it will stay that way for a while, Owyang wrote. Company leaders simply don't trust employees to do this, and the training isn't there either. Good old command and control.

Other models that are popular, like the centralized model, have remained about as popular as they were a couple of years ago, the report found. On the other hand, when the business unit in charge of social (corporate communications, for example) tries to scale, it can become overwhelmed by other departments' requests, Owyang wrote.

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