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Digital Transformation will change how we work and live together

Filed under: Innovation,Knowledge Management — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

I was asked in an interview that I hope will appear online soon what I’m excited about that’s coming in the future of social media. Based on some thoughts from Dion Hinchcliffe that I wrote about recently and some historical context from Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson’s new book Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future, here is what I wrote:

In short, I’m excited about how social media is changing the way we work. I’m excited about the coming bounty of real understanding and increased humanity that I expect to be a part of digital transformation. 20 years ago, the digital re-engineering of the enterprise brought new levels of efficiency and freed many people from their most repetitive work. Now our jobs require far more creativity, self-determination, communication, and other fundamentally human skills.

That type of transition is underway again in what we call Digital Transformation. Now it’s new technologies like social networks – both inside and outside of enterprises, new ways of working like the practice called “working out loud,” and new, network-informed ways of thinking about stakeholders, measurement, growth and management. This is an exciting time, this time of the consumerization of the enterprise. Hopefully the enterprise will have a lot to add to the mix as well – and the new capabilities of social media will be leveraged in powerful and positive ways at work.

On a deeper level, below this question about work, I’m excited about the ongoing democratization of communication and self-awareness that social media offers. It continues to face criticism, for example recently from some of the people who helped create it, as “short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we’ve created [that] are destroying how society works.” But I think that’s just a sign that we as individual participants need to take more responsibility and use social media more effectively. History will be the result of both structural and macroeconomic trends and our individual decisions, together.

The best part of Altimeter’s amazing new Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto

Filed under: Uncategorized — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Industry-leading analyst Brian Solis published a huge new report today, titled The Digital Change Agent’s Manifesto.

The report starts out with several pages of depressing reading about how hard it is to be a change agent inside an organization. I almost stopped reading it.

But then I continued, and the final 70% of the report is incredibly brave and totally outside of what I expected. It’s a discussion of the emotional barriers change agents face – not just in others, but also in themselves. Then, it offers great advice on how to manage those emotional barriers in yourself and in others.

All of the advice is remarkably good. Here’s just one taste of it.

Although it may seem counter-intuitive, to manage detractors, change agents ought to listen closely to their feedback. It is better to let them voice their concerns than to let them detract in secret. By listening to their concerns and the rationale for why they resist specific efforts to transform the organization digitally — and by trying to understand their motivations — change agents can turn detractors into allies. As Patrón Spirits’ Parker shares, “Most vocal critics can become your biggest advocates if you spend time with them.”

The whole report is amazingly helpful, though. You won’t read this kind of insight anywhere else. I highly recommend it.

Power pools at the points of intersection

Filed under: research — Marshall Kirkpatrick @

Power pools at the points of intersection. That’s a clear theme in several of the most moving things I’ve read in the past few days.

Here are four items I recommend highly. Were we to do a multi-variate regression analysis of a few different dynamics in the world, these here might be explorations of independent factors that drive dependent factors like social cohesion, business productivity, justice and injustice.

  • In the relationship between mind and machine, product and platform, core and crowd – the latter of each pair has grown so much stronger now that the relationship between each of these must be re-examined…The business world is always changing but in transitions as profound as this one, things are even more unsettled than usual.
    Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing Our Digital Future, Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson, 2017
  • “#changemanagement is often done with far too little communication, when it should be carried out more in the open with #WOL [Work Out Loud]+ #ESN [Enterprise Social Networks]+ network #leadership.”
    Dion Hinchcliffe, quoted in Change management needs more, different and modern communication to be successful (which I wrote)
  • A heartbreaking story of British imperialists collecting the dreams of their colonial subjects, in order to inform their control. Frustrated, they found – and resisted – evidence that we’re all equally human & that colonial rule is a nightmare.
    -Erik Linstrum, The empire dreamt back To help rule its empire, Britain turned to psychoanalysis. But they weren’t willing to hear the truth it told (Aeon)
  • And finally, tonight I listened to the most powerful speech I’ve heard in my life. If it doesn’t change your perspective on race and gender, then you’re not paying attention. If you already know all this stuff then you’re paying far more attention than I am – and chances are you’re not. Incredibly effective talk. Kimberlé Crenshaw – On Intersectionality – keynote – WOW 2016 Professor Kimberlé Crenshaw, – the academic who coined the term ‘intersectionality’ and co-founder of the African American Policy Forum – gives a keynote on the unique challenges facing women and girls of colour when it comes to the struggle for gender equality, racial justice and wellbeing.

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