[Also published on Microsoft's #bizremagined website.]

I’m fascinated by innovations in the language of innovation. Is it the inclinations of the innovator or the characteristics of the innovation that suggests new words and phrases? When and why is existing lexicon deemed inadequate? Why do we embrace some expressions yet others wither and die?

A quick browse at netlingo.com turns up such beauties as advermation, mouse potato, and idea hamster. All new to me, and for all I know dead already. I had a go a few years ago with Internetome to describe the physical manifestations of the Internet of Things, and let’s just say the word hasn’t made the Oxford English. Yet.

Enter the phrase “social business”, bandied around with increasing frequency. What is it exactly?

Well perhaps this particular turn of phrase is sufficiently nascent to mean different things to different people. The candidate meanings form a spectrum to my mind, with “an organisation that uses social media” at one end (with the hashtags #socmed and #socbiz used interchangeably), and a deep, transformative opportunity at the other. Whether or not such a profound transformation ends up being labelled social business, we’ve tried hard at Euler Partners to articulate what it might mean in less ambiguous terms. Read more