Deloitte, under the leadership of John Hagel III and John Seely Brown, earlier this year released what I believe is a landmark study: The 2009 Shift Index. "Measuring the forces of long-term change," this work uncovers a new way to think about shifts in business and society and absorb them to maximum benefit for the organization. What's more, the study illuminates the pressing need for business leaders to alter the way people interact inside the organization as well as with stakeholders, and it outlines a better way to measure performance. Beyond product and service, the distinguishing characteristic of corporate output will be the way the knowledge of its people is put to use in products, services and daily interaction. [And the study answers the question, "what is the big deal with Twitter."]
Hagel, a speaker at the upcoming Supernova conference, was interviewed recently by Cathy Brooks on The Social Media Hour. He pointed to what is being born out in recent news coverage of this recession: many jobs won't be coming back and the complacent view that upturn is inevitable will marginalize even the most sound companies. The good news: the organizations that harness the flow of knowledge among employees and with stakeholders will thrive.
- Digital technologies and long-term public public policy shifts are the key factors affecting the way companies perform and interact.
- The source of economic value is shifting from knowledge stocks to knowledge flows, making the ability to connect a key value driver.
- The economic playing field is fundamentally different from what we have assumed for decades; established practices are not working in public companies.
- We now have the capacity and potential to connect into knowledge flows in ways that can turn around deteriorating performance.
- Social media gives both individuals and enterprises a richer way to connect and share knowledge, making it a significant part of the solution to deteriorating performance, especially in terms of creating scale for knowledge flows. Over time, because we're still in the early stage, the social media revolution will increase the number of active contributors in the world's knowledge flow.
- The enterprise's most passionate people are often the most unsatisfied. They see the most potential but also feel the most constraint in the traditional corporate environment. As competition intensifies, companies need more passionate people, not clock punchers. Companies must learn to align passion with profession.
Those of us who already have concluded that this recession is actually a correction and the gateway to a truly magical intersection of society and business must take the data of The Shift Index and run with it. Armed with this information, we have before us the kind of opportunity that distinguishes one historical era from the next. A golden age? A gold standard? Knowledge is platinum for the people and organizations that welcome reality and appreciate the economic value of connecting in new ways to serve customers and society.
This post runs simultaneously on the Supernova Hub.