This post has been sponsored by Microsoft Office 365 and Cloud Powered Work, but all opinions expressed are mine.

Social Enterprise: Is the Enterprise Ready to Be Social?It’s long been said in circles where the actions of one serve the needs of many that there’s no “I” in “teamwork.” But there is an “I” in “social,” so maybe we can move beyond clichés and agree that there’s room for individuals — with all that they each bring to the table — collaborating with one another in a social enterprise.

Can’t we? Please?

Collaboration is Teamwork

Teamwork is only effective when all components (me and you and a dog named “Boo,” if our personnel department is truly concerned with workplace diversification in the 21st century) are autonomously efficient in tandem with being fully communicative. I’m not a sports guy, but even I know that star players still rely on support from their less applauded colleagues to succeed.

After all, Michael Jordan didn’t get the puck past all those goalies at the Super Bowls all by himself, did he? [A sports expert just confirmed with me: he did not.]

Markets Are Conversations

As businesspeople (and anyone who can manage to get food to the table in this economy is a businessperson), we need to realize that markets are conversations. If we’re not collaborating and communicating in the enterprise climate of the 21st century, we’re just talking to ourselves (and, in the long run, starving). Facilitating and being part of such a conversation is much more important than dominating it. After all, even if you think of yourself as the star player on your team, you already know what you have to say about what’s going on; recognizing the value of what other team members add to the dialogue will add fresh perspective and chart a more reliable course toward the future.

A Successful Enterprise is a Social Enterprise

You can’t do it alone, but luckily, you’re not alone — even if you don’t happen to be in the same room with (or even the same hemisphere as) the rest of your team. Even people who don’t consider themselves “technical” commonly carry smart phones, tablets, and laptops nowadays, so the BYOD (bring your own device) culture is already here — why not make use of it? The concepts of cubicles and phone farms are so yesterdecades, anyway. If you’re trying to pound nails with a wrench or paint your house with colored pencils, I’ll borrow a phrase from the common vernacular and tell you that “you’re doing it wrong.” Nowadays, tools like Microsoft Office 365 stand at the ready to help team members and small business owners succeed in collaborating and communicating within a successful, social enterprise.

Working with Old Friends

Sure, the Microsoft Office suite has been around seemingly forever, with its components Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook long ago entering workforce lexicon along with words like stapler, three-hole punch, and copy machine. Chances are, if you’ve ever worked, looked for work, or gone to school in the past 20 years or so, you’ve used Microsoft Office in some capacity. But have you used it lately? Microsoft Office 365 is a toolbox that’s evolved to handle the tasks of the modern social enterprise intuitively.

Sure, Office 365 includes all of the old, familiar favorites like Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and Outlook that I mentioned above, but it also incorporates SkyDrive for your team’s cloud storage needs and Skype, so that your social enterprise can stay truly connected — whether team members are in the next room or on the next continent.

Don’t believe me? Have a look! You can subscribe to a version that’s right for you and your business, or you can test out its features with the free trial that’s offered. The flexible needs of your social enterprise are met with flexible solutions in our always on society.