Review: The 8 Step Guide to a Social Workplace by @adigaskell

8steps-featuredSome time ago I had the good fortune of being asked to publish my content to DZone: Social Business. I was quite honored to be considered, after all, I was merely a fledgling SocBiz blogger.

Adi Gaskell
Adi Gaskell

The dude that asked me is Adi Gaskell (@adigaskell). We’ve been “following” each other ever since. Next to that, he’s a major commenter on this site, which is always good.

So, when Adi mentioned he was working on a SocBiz whitepaper, I was positively thrilled.., and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it.

Now, at last, it is done, and I got a chance to read it.

The 8 Step Guide to a Social Workplace

The 8 Step Guide to Building a Social Workplace
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The first half of the book delves into the ‘Why’ of Social Business. It is a very logical place to start, because for a lot, it is still a big mystery. Even for those who are active practitioners, the ‘Why’ can sometimes be cloaked by the ‘How’.

The details of implementing, and the daily challenges can become distracting, even overwhelming. As mentioned in the book, the adaptation, or transformation, to a Social Business takes time, a lot of it. Sometimes it’s good, even necessary, to take a step back and remember the ‘Why.

For those coming to grips with Social Business, the first chapter is really useful. Here Adi deals with a few myths and misconceptions that do need to be cleared up before diving into the good stuff. Also, the list with (potential) benefits is extensive and inspiring.

I dare anybody to read that list and then dismiss the potential of a Social Workplace (read the first chapter at the end of this post).

Return On Investment

roiROI; a business term I was not familiar with before Social entered the realm of business.., and the one term that keeps popping up in almost every conversation, book or blogpost.

This is because asking; “What is the ROI on Social” is a very legitimate question. When you consider the time, effort and money that is involved, even in running a Facebook Page, is significant. Having a Facebook Page (or Twitter account) is, of course, a far cry from being a Social Business, and the investment that is required is equal to that. Depending on the size of the company, it can be gargantuan. Determining the ROI is therefore a very necessary step to take.

Often the problem with social business isn’t making a difference, it’s in that positive impact actually being measured

The main school of thought is leaning more and more towards having a clear purpose when it comes to Social Business. Whether the purpose of the adaptation is social or commercial, once this purpose is set, you can begin measuring it.

There still is an air of “let’s just begin” to it, but then ROI is indeed difficult to measure, if not impossible.

Basically, companies already measure a lot within a company. When you aim to change a certain process with the help of social tools, it’s relative easy to keep measuring, and, in the long run, see the difference.

For All To See

Through various use cases, from thought leaders in the industry, Adi explains in a clear and concise manner how the game is played.., and won. It is written in a no-nonsense down-to-Earth manner.., and this is important.

With job titles like Social Media Evangelist, Social Activationist, Community Data Guerilla and all the Ninja’s and Rockstars out there, it is difficult to take social serious. And it’d be even harder when you want to sell your Social Business ideas to The Board.

Hence the importance of this book, the content, and the way it is written. It cannot be denied that Social Business is a very, very serious business. The potential benefits can be listed, but are still hard to grasp, and many will only present themselves after many years.

This book gives you the advantage and answers you need, and it will convince you to take that step; to call in for reinforcements to get the job done.


It is imperative to realise that 80%(!) of all Social Business exploits die a silent death. Taking with them the hope and enthusiasm of those involved.Momentum is a crucial element of change. Having to re-invest time and effort (let alone money) is a hard thing to do.

The Social Business Adaptation is such an intense, long and highly customised process that a good first step is crucial.

This book will help you take that step, it will help you realise what Social Business is, how you can benefit from it, and which questions to ask when you invite someone like Adi Gaskell to your office.

Author: Rogier Noort

Digital Transformer | Thinker | Listener | Speaker | Podcaster | Writer | Blogger Twitter or LinkedIn.

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