How Social Media Changes Organizations

The web is no longer just a disruptive technology: it has become a disruptive paradigm, a cultural mindset.

This video of Gary Hamel is interesting. He responds to a very long question by immediately focusing on "the management architecture, not the IT architecture".

He outlines how the traditional management paradigm is a top-down center-to-end architecture. To make organizations adaptable, innovative and engaging, they need to become more like the web with its bottom-up end-to-end architecture.

The new generations entering the work force already carry with them the cultural dna, and the technological expectations, shaped by growing up on the web. They expect a meritocratic organizational environment where ideas are judged on their merits, not on the basis of the positional power of the people pushing them.

The bottom line is that social media is about much more than just technology, or communications.

A cultural upgrade

Organizations are facing tremendous external pressures to become more adaptable and agile. While these forces are driven by technological innovation, they have transcended the technology field and have become strategic drivers by themselves.

On top of that, people working in organizations are adapting to, and growing up in, this innovative media environment and carry changing expectations about the very essence of how work processes should be structured, with them on their daily commute.

Regarding social media as just a toolset to be adopted, misses the point. Yes you need to adopt the toolset, but not because it stops there: you need to adopt the social media mindset that is encoded into those tools.

In cyberpunk terms: this is not just software, it's a wetware upgrade. The social web changes how people think, and it enables organizations to change the fabric of their value-added processes from static and linear to flexible and networked.

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