stowe boyd

Stowe Boyd talks about making social business happen with Philip Sheldrake

According to his profile at Gigaom Research, “Stowe describes himself as a web anthropologist, futurist, and analyst. His focus is the future of work, and the tectonic forces pushing business into an unclear and accelerating future.”

Stowe publishes an IBM sponsored series of interviews he calls Socialogy. The latest is with our Philip Sheldrake, available on Stowe’s website and reproduced here in full for your convenience.

Stowe Boyd: In a recent post (see Our goal is to become a social business but how do we get the revolution started?) you back away from a contact’s question about needing a revolution to get his company to become more social. First, you looked at the conclusion that the answer to his business’ circumstance was to become social, and instead suggested an examination of shared values. But aren’t many businesses considering a digital/social transformation in the pursuit of another round of productivity, rather than soul searching about meaning and purpose?

Philip Sheldrake: My first point emphasizes that social business is a means not an ends of itself. A delightful means. A rewarding means. A welcome means. But a means nonetheless. You may well argue that the corresponding values and principles could represent an endgame for how you’d like society to be, but from the perspective of the business man I was talking to, and indeed all of my clients, the success of that business is foremost in his mind.

And what a loaded word that is – success. It seems, particularly in the light of recent calamitous events, that more than a few people are searching for a post-capitalist reality, one that at least recognizes and attempts to make up for some of the serious flaws in free-wheeling market economies. Articulating what success looks like exactly in terms of a country or an organization or other community has exercised greater minds than mine, but I simply talk to creating value for all stakeholders faster than otherwise, and value in its fullest meaning. In words a card-carrying capitalist might recognize, we’re talking about shareholders benefiting greatly because other stakeholders benefit greatly too; a win-win rather than a win-lose.

train tunnel

Influence the influence standards

AMEC Madrid Summit 2013 Every industry has its jargon. The lexicon emerges to aid efficient communication, but that efficiency is only achieved when everyone knows what the words and phrases really mean, and uses them consistently.

Modern PR practice and social business are nascent, fast moving and increasingly business critical, and standards setting is important to realise value sooner than later.

The Association for the Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC) is pivotal to this effort, and I’m a special advisor. Ahead of the European Summit in Madrid this June, I’m particularly involved in proposing standards around the concept of influence, a topic very close to the approach Euler Partners takes to social business as you may well know.

Should you be interested in our machinations, or indeed in lending your voice, I’ve just posted a document to my personal blog detailing some of the fundamentals our working group is grappling with. We’d love to hear from you.

Now and then I’m asked how all the associations and institutes join together, so let me finish here by listing those bodies that work closely with AMEC to make up what’s informally known as The Conclave:


Cision webinar on social business


The Cision webinar on 8th November was dedicated to social business and I was delighted to be the guest of Jay Krall, Cision’s media research supremo.

The webinar was wide ranging – from the definition of social business to the personal traits of those who will lead the transition, from influence flows to PR measurement.

I’ve known Jay since we started following each other online several years ago now, and he took part in an Influence Scorecard workshop I ran in New York in 2010. His contributions were invaluable then, and London is better off for having persuaded Jay to upsticks from Chicago. And if ever there was a guy with the most fabulous radio voice…

The webinar is now available on Soundcloud.

Image source.

Dublin Samuel Beckett Bridge

Influence – the use and abuse of the word in social media

The AMEC European Summit is taking place this week in Dublin. It’s a really vibrant event, a credit to AMEC’s Barry Leggetter and the delegates’ enthusiasm. (Actually, perhaps it’s a little less vibrant this morning after the visit last night to the Guiness brewery!)

I’m here representing the CIPR in a couple of sessions, and this morning I’m speaking in my own capacity… my slidestack is embedded here.

It’s an old theme of mine, the misrepresentation of the idea of influence, and the stack I presented on the topic back in March 2010 has now been viewed some thirteen and a half thousand times – Influence, the bullshit, best practice and promise. It’s now 2012 and I feel that we’re starting to make some progress towards addressing the complexity of the business of influence. Onwards and upwards.

Image source.

The Business of Influence

Q&A with Influencer Marketing Review

This is the third installment of our ‘Q&A with the Review’ series in which we talk with prominent members of the influencer marketing community about their work and thoughts on the industry. Amanda Maksymiw and Duncan Brown helped us get the series started, and now we’re grateful that Philip Sheldrake, author of The Business of Influence, is joining us for our third Q&A. 

IMR: Thanks so much for joining us, Philip. And congratulations on the book. We know that’s no easy feat.

Philip: Thanks for the invitation to chat here. And thanks for having my book cover on IMR’s homepage 🙂

IMR: Oh yeah. It’s probably about time we change the image, huh.  

You’ve stated in the book and elsewhere that “the business of influence is broken.” What do you mean by that exactly? Some might think there wasn’t much of a “business of influence” in the first place. 

Philip: A definition of influence: you have been influenced when you do something you wouldn’t otherwise have done, or think something you wouldn’t otherwise have thought. There’s influence in everything an organization does, and sometimes in what it doesn’t do, and yet despite this we often apportion responsibility for influence to marketing and PR departments. The 2012 organization looks incredibly similar to the 1992 organization, which is crazy when you consider the impact of social media and related information technologies.

Oakland Bay Bridge

Influence: Socializing the Enterprise – my presentation at Dreamforce 2011’s CEO Marc Benioff is excited that there are 45,000 delegates registed for this week’s Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. It sure is one helluva a show, and I particularly appreciated the Metallica and gig last night.

The theme for this year’s conference is the socialization of the enterprise and the reason for my invitation to present to the Executive Summit yesterday and delegates at large today. [Disclosure: is paying me to be here.]

There can be no doubt that is on a mission to help its customers make the social transition with as much emphasis placed on increasing the social exchange with employees and partners as customers and prospects, and this mission entailed the acquisition of Radian6 earlier this year.

When I spoke at the Radian6 Social2011 conference in April, I felt the excitement at the opportunity to meld the Radian6 and worlds, but I hadn’t appreciated how fast this integration would take place. Simply gobsmacking.