Innovation and the ability to rapidly adapt to change are becoming vitally important to an organisation’s survival. Well, you may say, what is different?
Many of our current world structures are outmoded, built on predict and control; especially control. This has enabled relative stability of power structures based on being closed, secretive and controlling and has also facilitated the widening gap between ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’ and between communities, countries and continents, feeding political and social instability on the world stage as the ‘have nots’ fight to survive and often join extremist groups.
Now however, as the open and random structure of the Internet is made ever more powerful with the array of new developments in social networking and wiki’s, all of which can be displayed on powerful pocket sized browsing devices, the world is moving rapidly towards transparency. Anyone can express their opinion and pass on what they know or believe easily.
Information no longer yields power!
Change has been speeded up as concepts and ideas are rapidly transmitted across the world and people connect with others who share their beliefs and views. If they are to survive and thrive in this environment, organisations have to adapt and learn rapidly; they have to be able to dynamically steer their way through a constantly changing landscape. We now live on the edge of chaos; and on the edge of chaos innovation and rapid effective learning are King and Queen.
Perhaps more radically though the very fact that we are spinning on a digital network that cannot be contained and controlled, whilst at some level striking fear into most of our hearts, could be the very factor that catapults humanity into a new level of development; one that embraces collaboration, spirit, love and compassion.
If I can no longer live by keeping my life, my thoughts and even my tax return secret then maybe flipping the coin completely and living by being completely open could work. If I can no longer hide myself from my neighbours then maybe declaring myself and collaborating with them is the answer.
I truly believe that most people want peace and equanimity in this world.
If for countries there are no longer state secrets then we are forced to change how we behave. We are forced to embrace vulnerability; and the courage to be vulnerable is the only thing that will bring peace. “Can’t be done”, I hear the voice of the sceptic, “people will just take advantage; some crack pot will want to take advantage of you, some crackpot will want to rule the world and if you are open then he/she will know all about you and have the advantage”
As this digital age progresses it becomes the voice of the people, the voice of the many.
I believe that the many want equanimity, the many want peace, the many want to live and let live. People, business, countries will have no place to run, no place to hide and may finally realise that the only way forward is to collaborate, to work together and that anything other than openness will immediately be discovered.
A good friend of mine, a white South African, left South Africa the year that Mandela was released from prison. My friend left because he, along with most of the world were certain that there was going to be a blood bath in South Africa when Mandela came out of prison. A year later he went back to visit his family, Apartheid had been abolished and South Africa was a completely different place.