Phillipe Borrowmans just posted a great post about the possibilities of truly social business which he titled "We need more Corporate Anarchists". Please go and read the whole thing but hopefully Phillipe will excuse this extensive snip:
Immanuel Kant describes anarchy as "Law and Freedom without Force" - this idea combined with one school of thought of anarchism - where the focus is on non-hierarchical organizations - was to me a kind of ultimate long term result.
But today I see more and more "social business" projects that tend to have "better control" as an objective. Some of these project are just about adding a social layer to already flawed business processes and models.
Why not use social media to truly open up an organization ?
Use it as a huge magnifying glass to see why people are not sharing information and helping each other out. And then from there change the system from within to make something better...
A true "social business" will eat titles on business cards for breakfast. But it will allow anyone in the company to become project leader based on his/her true skills and not based on the amount of projects managed.
A social business will not be afraid to completely change its business model to continue (or start) to create true value for society. And yes this means making money but also employing people, taking care of resources and creating real innovation.
I just believe we can do more with "social" than we're doing now. And we all know that we need drastic change to be able to face our current challenges; 12% unemployment in Europe, a dramatic state of inertia when it comes to our environment and social unrest around the corner.
It occurred to me that maybe there is a role for an "official" corporate anarchist, if that isn't a contradiction in terms. Someone who radically questions things, who prompts people to pick apart things that aren't working, who keeps pushing decision making to as wide a network as possible. They would have to be senior enough and have enough clout to push against the inevitable resistance but if enough people bought into the need for the role it should be possible. I remember British Airways being mocked years ago for having a corporate jester with a similar brief. Maybe it is not such a daft idea after all.