I am launching a new form of blog post here: a juxtaposition, where I take two things that have happened at the same time, and I draw some analogy, metaphor, or correlation from that occurrence.
I read that Dachis Group, the once-upon-a-time social business strategy consultancy that morphed a bit at a time into a social media analytics tool company, was acquired by Sprinklr, a social media consulting and technology firm. It seemed like they couldn’t get traction when the large consulting firms and technology companies were rolling out their own social business strategy capabilities
Jeff Dachis, the co-founder and CEO of Dachis Group responded to an email, saying ‘After a short period of operational transition, I will have a permanent advisory board role with the title of Chief Evangelist’, which sounds like he is leaving to start something new. All of the other folks that I know and respect who were involved in the company in the early days have left, with the exception of Peter Kim and Dion Hinchcliffe. I have emails in to them. But others — Dave Gray, Jevon MacDonald, and Kate Niederhoffer — left years ago, and Lee Bryant and the former Headshift crew that become Dachis Europe left not too long ago, too.
In an eerily well-timed announcement, Lee Bryant posted today that his new business, PostShift, is officially open for business. I wrote about Postshift in July, when he left Dachis and first announced the firm (see Lee Bryant leaves Dachis Group, announces something new).
Lee and company are leapfrogging all the issues of the social business controversy, and attacking today’s real problem:
Our mission: To build 21st Century businesses.
We believe that organisations cannot fully benefit from social technology without also addressing questions of structure, culture and practice in a serious way. We will be working with established firms, to look beyond social technology adoption towards new ways of working and more agile management structures; and with investors and startups, to help them scale without losing what made them special in the first place.
New ways of work, and more agile management styles: sounds like a leanership orientation, to me.
So, the one side of the juxtaposition is the acquisition of Dachis and the end of the era of social business that Dachis personified, and the decline of the principles that motivated its creation in the first place. As I have said, ‘Social Business’ isn’t dead, but it isn’t enough, either. The emotive force of the term has declined as it’s been bandied around by vendors and gurus, touting a hundred different takes on social and without any real crystallization.
On the other side is one of the wisest and deep thinking crews of people, Lee Bryant and the Postshifters, who have reoriented to today’s business challenge: how to look beyond work tech — now largely social in a fundamental way, along with other characteristics — and to tackle reworking work in a way that will match the new postnormal, 21st century world. A world vastly different than the mid zeroes when social business started to seem promising, and one where everything must be reevaluated.
We’re talking about making the shift, here at GigaOM Research. So don’t be surprised if you land here one day soon to see that my posts and reports are published under The Future Of Work, instead of Social.
[Update - 3:42pm 20 Feb 2014: Susan Scrupski of Change Agents Worldwide mentioned on Twitter that her time at Dachis wasn't mentioned. An oversight in a way, although I didn't know Susan when Dachis was founded. She folded her 2.0 Adoption Council into Dachis a few years ago, and left the company just over a year ago. She's founded CAWW and brought aboard a great constellation of very knowledgeable folks. I plan to interview her to learn more about the network and her goals for it.]