Sometimes as communication managers, it can feel like we are a lone voice in the wilderness when trying to persuade executives that social networks are an essential part of contemporary business.

In searching for a single quote from an authoritative source on this issue, the TalkFreely team unearthed a goldmine of quotes that came from industry insiders.*

These show the very deep-rooted belief amongst top business leaders that ’social’ in all its forms is an essential and integral part of the future of employee communications.

We’ve also add a few words of wisdom from the past too, for some retrospective perspective.


The web is more a social creation than a technical one. I designed it for a social effect – to help people work together – and not as a technical tool.

Tim Berners-Lee

Human beings are fundamentally social animals, always have been, and probably always will be, and the rise of social media simply plays into that.

Nick Blunden, The Economist

People spend tremendous time and energy creating content and social media communities, without being paid. How can we get a fraction of that intrinsic need to create and communicate, at work?

Michael Chui, McKinsey Global Institute


All businesses have always been social; what’s new is the set of observable behaviours and available technologies to enable businesses to leverage these to solve business problems.

Gil Yehunda, Yahoo

This is not in information age. It’s an age of networked intelligence.

Don Tapscott, Author of ‘Wikinomics’

As a social enterprise, everyone in the company is a subject matter expert. It’s been totally transformational for us.

CarlCamden, CEO, Kelly Services

Social tools are not just about giving people a voice, but giving them a way to collaborate, contribute, and connect.

John Stepper, Deutsche Bank

We can use this technology as a weapon of mass construction.

Maxine Brenner, MD, Investec Bank


Precision of communication is important, more important than ever, in our era of hair trigger balances, when a false or misunderstood word may create as much disaster as a sudden thoughtless act.

James Thurber

The biggest barriers to adopting employee social networks are legacy systems, legacy thought processes and legacy people.

David Cush, CEO, Virgin America

The day soldiers stop bring you their problems is the day you have stopped leading them.

General Colin Powell


For any CEO that is sceptical at all: you have to create a social enterprise today. You have to be totally connected with everyone that touches your brand. If you don’t do that, I don’t know where your business model is in five years.

Angela Ahrendts, CEO, Burberry

You have to grab onto the new communication and collaboration systems or you will simply end up as roadkill.

Geoffrey Moore, TCG Advisers


The less people know, the more they yell.

Seth Godin


collected by David Croston, Social Business Strategist at Department P