Gartner Reveals the Next Chapter in Modern Business Management: The Social Organization

Findings from Newly Released “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees” to be Presented at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, October 16-20, in Orlando

Orlando, Fla., October 17, 2011 – Being a social organization goes far beyond experimenting with social media technology tools such as Facebook and Twitter, according to Gartner, Inc. A social organization addresses significant business challenges and opportunities using social media platforms to enable mass collaboration – what Gartner predicts will be the next evolutionary pillar defining how work gets done around the world.

Analysts at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo, being held here through October 20, will explain how mass collaboration extends beyond social media to enable employees, customers, suppliers and all other stakeholders to participate directly in the creation of value. However, few executives and managers know how to turn opportunities for greater collaboration into meaningful business results.

In the recently published book, “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees” (by Harvard Business Press, October 2011, $35), co-authors Anthony J. Bradley, group vice president at Gartner, and Mark P. McDonald, group vice president and head of research at Gartner Executive Programs, reveal how executives from CEOs to managers can make mass collaboration a source of enduring competitive advantage in their enterprise.

“Deployed effectively, social media unleashes the collaborative power of employees at all levels and locations in your organization, customers and prospects, and partners anywhere in your company’s value chain – while minimizing the constraints imposed by the specialization and compartmentalization that inevitably creep into businesses as they grow,” Mr. Bradley said.

“Organizations can achieve unprecedented business results by using social media to effectively tap into the power of mass collaboration,” said Mr. McDonald. “New mass collaboration capabilities are irreversibly redefining what it means to be a highly productive organization.”

In the book, Mr. Bradley and Mr. McDonald share insights from their study of more than 400 organizations around the world – including Xilinx, NASA and CEMEX – that have used social technologies toward these ends. Mr. Bradley and Mr. McDonald identify a set of core disciplines that managers need to master to translate mass collaboration into results:

  • Vision: defining a compelling vision of progress toward a highly collaborative organization
  • Strategy: taking community collaboration from risky and random success to measurable business value
  • Purpose: rallying people around a clear purpose, not just providing them with technology
  • Launch: creating a collaborative environment and convincing customers and employees to embrace it
  • Guide: participating in and influencing communities as they pursue their purpose, without stifling collaboration
  • Adapt: responding creatively to change by modifying the organizational context, in order to better support community collaboration

“The Social Organization” highlights the benefits and challenges of using social technology to tap the power of collective effort. Packed with practical advice and compelling examples, this new book reveals how leaders can make collaboration a management imperative to help guide and nurture employee communities and in turn, create social organizations.

Mr. Bradley and Mr. McDonald will present a session at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo titled, “The Social Organization: How to Build a Corporate Competency in Social Media” at 11:30 a.m. EDT today. During the session, Mr. Bradley and Mr. McDonald will discuss the specific capabilities that organizations must develop to compete in an increasingly interconnected social world. The authors will sign copies of the book following the session.

Additional comments from Mr. Bradley and Mr. McDonald from Gartner Symposium/ITxpo are available on the Gartner YouTube channel at and

In addition, the authors will host a Q&A session via Twitter on Thursday, October 20, as part of Harvard Business Press’ HBRChat series. To attend and/or participate, log on to Twitter from 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. EDT on October 20 and follow #HBRChat. Questions can be submitted for the authors to answer by sending a direct message to @HBRexchange during the chat.

Copies of the book “The Social Organization: How to Use Social Media to Tap the Collective Genius of Your Customers and Employees” are available at Gartner Symposium/ITxpo at the Gartner Bookstore.

For more information, please visit The site includes book excerpts, video commentary and analyst blogs. Copies of the book can be ordered from this site.

About Gartner Symposium/ITxpo

Gartner Symposium/ITxpo is the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives. This event delivers independent and objective content with the authority and weight of the world’s leading IT research and advisory organization, and provides access to the latest solutions from key technology providers. Gartner’s annual Symposium/ITxpo events are key components of attendees’ annual planning efforts. IT executives rely on Gartner Symposium/ITxpo to gain insight into how their organizations can use IT to address business challenges and improve operational efficiency. Additional information is available at

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