Almost every conversation about social business has that moment when our very logical discussion hits a roadblock. (And it’s a very understandable roadblock too.) Someone worries that sharing social data and opening up social media use at work means that all their employees will suddenly be tweeting customers, posting pictures, and video-blogging. It does not.

Social business isn’t about everyone, everywhere.

Physics has The One. The unified theory of everything. That single elegant solution that will make everything make sense. Medicine also has The One, the genetic map that will unlock the secrets of us. But business is messier. It’s a discipline about iterations and constant improvement. If it were about endpoints, then we’d all be heading out of business.

Social business is an evolutionary process intended to position your company to take advantage of the social conversations going on all around you. It’s about looking for opportunities to better deploy people, armed with the right guidance and supporting technology, to do what they do a little smarter. Or a little faster. Or a little better.

In many ways, the goal of social business is no different than that of a group of executives sitting in a boardroom looking at a market scan or corporate forecasts year over year. It’s about information, and insights, and how you can use these to inform your next steps. What distinguishes this iteration of business innovation: getting and sharing that data in real time and empowering people across your organization to act on that knowledge, today, to drive your business goals.

At the end of the day, isn’t that what every business wants?

Photo by icelight (Flickr).