Friday, June 4, 2010

Retreat Day 3: The Change Agency and the Infotech Revolution

"The modern computer has been with us for more than half a century. But it was arguably a member of the supporting cast, not a prime determinant of enterprise strategy, until the early- or mid-1990s. Then the emergence of the Internet and the wild growth in telecommunications technology together changed everything. Virtually overnight.

Fact is, depsite sectoral turmoil and disappoinntments of the last two or three years, we are merely in the baby stages of the infotech revolution. Established organizations do not exactly shine in discontinuous times. Neither do successful 40-year-old middle managers. On the contrary, orgs and hiearchs tend to hunker down, to guard their turf ferociously - and to pray that "This, too, shall pass." Well it won't..."

- Tom Peters, reinforces the staying power of social media, "Re-Imagine! Business Excellence in a Disruptive Age"

The infotech revolution is upon us and admittedly has hit this almost 40-year-old middle manager-type with much angst. From day one of entering into my career, I can't seem to get the right footing for the pace of this infotech world. To stay abreast of just the terminology let alone mastering the latest tools has required a level of endurance, like sprinting up to the top of Kilimanjaro without one day of training. And, once you arrive to the top, no one else is there. The timing is all off. Sometimes I wonder if I've missed the boat, when I see someone offering social media advice to their following of over 10K tweeps, for example. Other times I feel like I am just way too early, especially when some of my prospects are still trying to understand what "branding" means.

Understanding the world of business is critical for success. Keeping up with the trends of finance, management and marketing alone is a full time job. Add on top of that a dedication to understand the basic coding languages and proper software tools. Tech knowledge that is necessary to make what was once needed to happen, and at times still is necessary for printing on paper is now needed to produce social media. Then, sprinkle on the style, the aesthetics, most importantly to uphold credibility and add value to any collateral deemed acceptable in today's commerce. A strong sense of business, an understanding of the latest technologies and a creative flair is the necessary combination for success in today's infotech revolution.

Yet, the fragmented groups of the techies and creative types miss the mark when it comes to business sense. They lack the mojo to step up and only a few will have the stamina to keep up on the social media journey. The business executives who fear the change that technology brings or lack the zest to learn have regretfully slowed today's economy. These sub groups all speak a different language and hang out at different water coolers. They are missing the mark on how to work collectively in the internet era. Once they realize the value each bring to the table and respect one another, that is when they will settle, build a town, an enterprise.

Until then, most techs and creative types go unemployed. Corner offices are cursed with insecure chiefs who no longer know how to lead and thus, have instead grabbed onto fear. Fears that have led to corruption and the need to control. This begets less and less innovation that leads to more techies and creatives being unemployed...

What happens when droves of techie and creative types are unemployed? Well, I hope that a new free world is created. I hope that people will see today's business landscape of unpredictability and know for sure that there is opportunity in social media. We are living in an infotech revolution. Some see it as revolting. Not me. I see it as a golden opportunity and it is time to forge onward, fearlessly. March on social media soldiers.


Social Media Maniac of The Midas Center


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