Has business really been through a technological revolution? I am not so sure.....
I had a conversation with Mark Schaeffer this week and this formed part of our discussion. We read about the digital age and how social technology has changed the way business works. Sure.....the way we work has changed BUT I would argue that the largest impact on business is not the technology we use.....but how we think as business leaders.
The social age has been a mindset more than a technological revolution. (Tweet this)
This social mindset revolution has been driven by technology; allowing customers a much greater voice and choice in who they buy from.....but the ultimate effect on business is the shift in the way they think about business.
The mindset shift is even greater than the technological shift for businesses. (Tweet this)
Because the technology helps business too...it reduces cost, simplifies communication, creates market opportunities. Business to a large extent benefits and likes technology.
The mindset change is much harder to make because business has to recognise that power lies in openness, transparency and the strength of their networks; all things that leaders have subconciously feared! Business has historically been built on the opposite to a large extent. Business leaders feel uncomfortable making this change because it means rethinking their business model.
Power used to be created by knowledge controlled from within your company; power is now created through the sharing of knowledge outside the company.
Sharing brings risk; a risk of getting things wrong, of being judged, of putting your heart on the line.
The falsehood is that power was ever created through knowledge. It was always the sharing, it is just that it was the company that decided what to share, now the consumer decides what has a shareability factor. Nothing is sacred to a company, if you don't share then the market will find someone else.
Technology has been the enabler of this power shift but the revolution centers on how business think, act and react.
Business needs to change from hierarchical structures to social circles. (Tweet this)
Business need to recognise the social element of leadership.(Download social business guide here)
Business needs to create networked structures rather than functional boxes.
The question is not whether you are brave enough to join the mindset revolution BUT whether you are brave enough NOT TO!
The world is changing, business must change to adapt to this new social model of business.