From BusinessWeek I found this article: Barack’s Three Revolutions.
I appreciate the power of a keyword sensitive, subject-sensitive title. The title, Barack's 3 Revolutions, will generate great results for the article: readers, and conversation.
But, it’s misleading. The article describes 3 revolutions that culminated in the election of Barack Hussein Obama.
However, they are not Obama’s revolutions. They are our revolutions. Ours as a country.
Regardless if you like Obama, hate Obama, think he’s The One to lead us to the promised land or swear he’s The One leading us to perdition...his election was a manifestation, not the source, of our 3 revolutions.
And these 3 revolutions will have an impact on our business now and increasingly in the future. So, here are Obama's Our Three Revolutions:
The rise of Gen Y and their culture. Gen Y’s use of social media technology, their post-diversity perspective (race, gender and sexual orientation aren’t a big deal) and their collaborativeness...
The return to checks and balances in economics...(who knows, maybe in politics, too. Yes, checks and balances are needed for this adminstration. Checks and balances, not partisan/ideological obstructionism for the purpose of maintaining party power and access to its perks and priviledges.)
The beginning of a post-racial American culture...
How will they impact your business?
One common theme for business is the source, the well-spring, for innovation from these different voices now speaking from the podium. The audience, us, is receptive. The top-down business model using command and control management techniques reached its zenith a few years ago. Now, we see the results of its excess expressed in our recession, its causes and even the bankrupt solution of the initial bailout plan with no checks and balances for the use of those funds.
Hence, the return to checks and balances.
Gen Y isn’t the only demographic using social media. However, the comfort level is higher with this demographic for two reasons: A greater familiarity level with digital media and social media exists with Gen-Y. And, there’s no need to unlearn, unload, the old ways of thinking structured in us from elementary school where we learned to sit down, sit in a row and wait our turn.
A post-racial America. That description reveals the mindset of the author who, like me, remembers the Civil Rights struggles of the 50’s and 60’s and 70’s and 80’s...who now sees a growing diversity in our communities and the resulting boost in synergies and creatitivities that come from increasing diversity in any community.
All the changing demographics, and communities, that are now finding a voice with tools and resources including social media, but also including access to money and decision-makers and talent....will bring in new perspectives from new experiences with new ideas for new solutions.
Is your business prepared? Are you as a leader prepared? We all want the boost in innovation and creativity and collaboration (I can’t wait ‘til some of that collaboration mindset reaches Congress...). We as a nation need it to create startups that generate new jobs with new skills and drive our economy.
But, are we ready to
- relinquish some control in return for some more innovation?
- open our books, share the results openly and transparently, with those who work to deliver them?
- debate our strategy and tactics with our smart, motivated, energetic, skilled, trained colleagues? We all expect to participate. That's part of our rewards, now. Our economy has shown that decisions made in secret are usually meant to hide something.
In one sense, it makes no difference. This change, these 3 revolutions have already occurred. And no, they won’t trickle down. They will flood our business and our lives so that this time next year, this discussion will seem quaint and charming.
So...are we ready?