Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Adapting to change isn't easy

I thought I'd share this quote. It was sent to me by a colleague who read it on a social networking site:

Isn't email, intranet databases/webs and phones enough? Sounds like bureaucracy to me. Or is it another step toward the "nanny state" - sorry but I don't agree with large organisations/governments using social networking to communicate with their employees where does it stop? Next they will want camera's in the homes of employees! (sounds like a novel we all read once).

I don't condemn or scorn this view. It reflects the mindset of those who are familiar and comfortable with existing paradigms and don't see the need, or value, in change.

Right now, across the world, we are seeing an unprecedentedly large and rapid shift in how people communicate, organise, create and disseminate information.

From a media landscape dominated by a few large content producers with a mass market of consumers, we have shifted to one that is increasingly dominated by a mass market of content producer/sharers/consumers (the people formerly known as the audience).

We are still only in the early stages of this shift. New industries are forming, old ones are being destroyed - new jobs are being created and old ones are being replaced. Today only 25% of the world's population has access to the internet on a regular basis - what happens when this reaches 80%?

This shift scares some people, seems unnecessary to others and empowers and excites many more.

Every change process in every organisation needs to address those who are not convinced that the changes will necessarily be for the better.

The 'internet revolution' is no different. We need to educate, demonstrate, encourage, train and support those who do not see the benefits. Bring them along wherever possible - and move them out whenever it is not.

However given that even the doubters, such as the author of this quote, use social media to share their views about the lack of value in social media, the change is probably already irreversible. All that will vary is the timing.

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