Bizcom2g is Business Communication, Second Generation, referring to a paradigm shift in the way businesses communicate.
I don’t use “paradigm shift” lightly, even though Thomas Kuhn would not be pleased, since he invented the term precisely to distinguish between the social and natural sciences. Business communication, indeed, communication in general, has always been seen as a social science, and I realize I’m looking through my own background in communication to assess the situation, but I believe it is the most important of the social sciences. Without communication, none of the rest exist, almost by definition. No communication=no society.
Organizational concepts and strategies for internal and external communication are shifting quickly on their foundations in a way similar to the first generational change, when computers became ubiquitous. There was a sense in almost every industry that they never quite lived up to their potential–the paperless office never arrived, it was just business as usual with the little square box making it faster.
However, the current wave of social media is taking advantage of Web 2.0 to release Communication 2.0. It’s changing the way businesses think about how they communicate inside and outside their organization, and almost impossible to judge by the existing metrics. As Wikipedia’s entry on social paradigms says, what’s happening right now is “a change in how a given society goes about organizing and understanding reality.” You can substitute “business” for “society” there, and you will have the basic premise for what I’m interested in talking about in bizcom2g.
The same entry on paradigms gives the following set of how to “facilitate a system of thought to become an accepted dominant paradigm:”
- Professional organizations that give legitimacy to the paradigm
- Dynamic leaders who introduce and purport the paradigm
- Journals and editors who write about the system of thought. They both disseminate the information essential to the paradigm and give the paradigm legitimacy
- Government agencies who give credence to the paradigm
- Educators who propagate the paradigm’s ideas by teaching it to students
- Conferences conducted that are devoted to discussing ideas central to the paradigm
- Media coverage
- Lay groups, or groups based around the concerns of lay persons, that embrace the beliefs central to the paradigm
- Sources of funding to further research on the paradigm
All of these things are happening, and I’m here to talk about it.
About the author:
Lisa C. Hannon is an experienced senior communications consultant, project manager, managing editor, change manager and workflow architect. She graduated summa cum laude from UNLV in 1998 with an interdisciplinary studies BA in writing and personal communication. For more information: