Headshift pioneered the use of social tools within traditional firms, and worked from 2002 for over a decade to help firms improve operations and engagement using smarter, simpler, social technology

Our history

As pioneers in the organisational uses of social tools, we have a wealth of practical experience across a range of sectors. Here are some selected milestones from the journey so far.

2002: Having run a successful agency specialising in online knowledge sharing systems, we were blown away by the simplicity and potential of early blog and wiki platforms, and decided to form a new company to focus on enterprise social software.

2003: We released our founding paper, Readme.doc, at the start of the year that established some of our ideas in this new field, and we got to work building an innovative (later award-winning) national knowledge network for mental health professionals and service users.

2004: Working with the business support agency Business Link for London, we introduced blogs and social tools into their external engagement work for the first time. At the BlogTalk conference in Vienna, we presented our work for the first time, and met new friends and colleagues from across Europe working in similar fields.

2005: Our first legal sector client, Allen & Overy, began its successful pilot of internal blogs and wikis for informal knowledge sharing. We also brought the direct, low-cost approach of using social tools for consultation to a wider number of public sector organisations, and helped create the first version of Patient Opinion.

2006: Working with Castrol, we developed the ambitious and edgy Motoraddicts community, designed and run by car passionates to help Castrol gain a deep insight into their behaviours and needs.

2007: We showcased our thinking on the importance of collective intelligence inside companies with a popular talk in Geneva at the LIFT conference. We also helped create the first version of the wonderful Do the Green Thing.

2008: Working with Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, we created our first true social intranet. We also helped launch a new online engagement platform for a major international newspaper group, and launched the new BBC Blogs platform.

2009: One and Other, one of our most challenging and high-profile public projects, was a great success. We began working with the Frontline Club to revamp their online presence, and we struck a deal with Dachis Group to become their first acquisition on the way to becoming the world’s largest social business consultancy.

2010: We successfully delivered our largest ever agile development project, and helped launch the innovative new delivery service Collect+. We also began doing more pure IT strategy and consulting work for corporate clients.

2011: Our busiest year to date saw us significantly expand our social business consulting team, alongside our tech dev capabilities, to deliver significant strategy and implementation projects with clients ranging from Nokia to a leading energy drink manufacturer.

2012: We continued to build on our growth with some important new client engagements with the Bank of England, a major US law firm, and several global engineering firms, among others, while also working to integrate the London-based team’s skills and capabilities with those of our US parent company.

Post*Shift: the Prequel

A decade of learning how, when and with whom social technology can be implemented inside organisations to humanise and improve their operations left behind an interesting trail of blog posts, experiences and case studies, so it seemed like a good idea to maintain this web archive. Headshift was founded in 2002, sold in 2009, and the right to its name and content was then re-acquired by its founders in 2014 as they were setting up their new venture, Post*Shift. If you enjoy reading this archive, please head over to the Post*Shift site to find out how we are building on the first phase of social business technology to create new structures, culture and operations in large organisations as part of our vision for Twenty-First Century Business.