Not A Recession
It’s not a recession. It’s a transition. It’s a transition from the industrial economy to the networked economy. This transition started 10 years ago with the dotcom boom. Over the last 10 years we have seen many industries collapse under scrutiny of the digital spotlight.
Now it’s the turn of the banks, car makers and other monolithic industrial structures to transcend to the new level or succumb. It’s the older, less culturally advanced businesses, that are suffering most. It’s not so much the technology that makes businesses vulnerable or brilliant, but their culture.
The culture of the network paradigm is – flexible, transparent, insanely creative, cellular, distributed, diverse, inspiring, permeable and authentic.
The culture of the industrial paradigm is – structured, opaque, incremental, hierarchical, monolithic, homogenous, predictable, obedient, and bounded.
In today’s connected world customers want to buy from businesses that inspire them. People want to work for organisations that inspire them and politicians want to support businesses that contribute more than just money to society.
The next generation of hyper successful business will be networked. The boundaries between employee and customer will blur as with Threadless www.threadless.com and Digg http://digg.com where people outside the company help create the product.
Businesses like Plenty of Fish www.plentyoffish.com where one man who works around one hour per day brings in $10 million per year, o-desk www.odesk.com, e-lance www.elance.com and guru www.guru.com will change the dynamics of employment. It will become more and more difficult for uninspiring companies to attract great people.
The whole notion of employment will shift, more and more, from ‘9 to 5’ to flexible, multi role, portfolio careers with individuals working for multiple employers.
Instead of commuting to corporate HQ, more and more people will use flexible office spaces like The Hub http://the-hub.net or online spaces like Linkedin www.linkedin.com or Facebook www.Facebook.com to find their community and collaborators.
Cost effective online collaboration tools like ning www.ning.com, powownow www.powwownow.com and Skype www.skype.com enable those with a mission to access greater global collaboration.
Success will come from doing something valuable and inspirational with a culture of creativity, innovation and challenge. Businesses and organisations who are unable to make the shift will succumb.
What can we do?
Invest in personal development. If you don’t already know what you are great at and what you are most passionate about – find out. Invest in the next generation. We need to take the next generation beyond education. My contribution to this is to be part of www.amentorforeverychild.com. Please join the web based community and contribute what you can.
Transform the culture of your organisation. If you recognise that the organisation that you work for is following the industrial model and you want to keep your job, start working to change it. I can help if you need it.