Charlene Li and Josh Bernoff, authors of the book Groundswell and analysts with Forrester Research, lead the Web 2.0 Expo session Creating a Coherent Social Strategy for Business

Download the presentation from Forrester and look at the “Social Technographics Ladder” (slide 8) and the authors’ mapping of key roles within a company to the key business objectives of a social strategy (slide 9).

One point that I particularly enjoyed was their classification of personalities within a company: purists, pragmatists, and corporatists. 

Corporatists are the ones saying “Online activities must deliver business benefits.”  I can’t help thinking the label “corporatists” was a bit of a slam!  Although, the corporatist perspective seems pretty reasonable to me – to a point. 

At the other end of the spectrum were Purists.  They believe “People are the most powerful force on the net.”  They don’t really think of business per se just the purity of the medium and expression.

Of course, I found myself in the middle, a Pragmatist, “People are in charge but corporations can benefit.”

Keys to success (offered for pragmatists):
• start with your customers
• chose an objective you can measure
• line up executive backing
• romance the naysayers
• start small, think big
• and act fast

Personally, I think these are keys to success for most any change management effort – but good advice none the less!