The future is ‘social’, although the picture on where we are heading in the social era is still developing. The world has changed – competition has changed, and how we create value has changed. The people who will change our world in the social era will be more connected, more purposeful and more powerful. As leaders we need to reimagine how we are going to get a new kind of performance for our organisations, our economies, and ourselves.
Being heard above all the noise in the social era is the challenge, but reach and connection allows for a different construct:
- Organisations will need to be increasingly fast, fluid, and flexible with a social era backbone that can quickly assess, and respond, and be nimble on how to assemble a team that can address both problems and opportunities in the market.
- Customers will no longer be just consumers, but also a co-creators.
The mantra is be “flexible or die”. People in the start-up world, many of whom embody fast, fluid and flexible believe established players are fated to die, if they do not adapt. It is generally agreed that organisations that are resilient and can adapt to the change environment by being nimble, humanised and networked will do the best.
In the social era purpose precedes scale. Purpose is a better motivator than money, whilst not ignoring the necessity of money, purpose encourages the best in people and the best people. A shared purpose engages people, and aligns communities. The social era will reward organisations that realise that they can create more value with communities than on their own. Openness is the name of the game realised through sharing and collaborating.
An organisation that creates value in the social era will be one that is participatory and embodies a culture of constant innovation.
Further reading: Merchant, Nilofer (2012) 11 Rules for Creating Value in the #SocialEra. ebook.