Archives for category: Change

This is a fascinating view of macro scale changes from a very unlikely source – an ex-senior official in the CIA Clandestine Service.  His comments echo some of my recent thinking about the potential impact when social movements meet social media, and the impact upon modern-day governance structures.  Here’s the view of Henry Crumpton (with my emphasis in bold):

The most important change on the global security and business stage is the empowerment of the individual and their ability to have inexpensive, exponential impact through technology and collaboration. This revolutionary development has led to an unprecedented shift in relationships, with a degree of asymmetric power never seen in the history of human conflict or commerce. There are micro actors with macro impact operating on a global landscape and they constantly challenge the status quo, and this trend is accelerating.

via A CIA veteran’s lessons for CEOs – Fortune Management.

Over at McKinsey there is a fascinating article about engaging an entire workforce in the development of organisational strategy:

…executives at organizations that are experimenting with more participatory modes of strategy development cite two major benefits. One is improving the quality of strategy by pulling in diverse and detailed frontline perspectives that are typically overlooked but can make the resulting plans more insightful and actionable. The second is building enthusiasm and alignment behind a company’s strategic direction—a critical component of long-term organizational health, effective execution, and strong financial performance that is all too rare, according to research we and our colleagues in McKinsey’s organization practice have conducted.

This is similar to some very successful work I’ve done with one client over the last five years. Initially we involved eighty thought leaders and influencers (along with a handful of hierarchical leaders) in a process to develop a vision.  Later in the process we spread that out to thousands of people using word of mouth.  It was extremely powerful, but you need to take great care to ensure the process does not go astray, and the McKinsey article touches on this.

via The social side of strategy – McKinsey Quarterly – Strategy – Strategy in Practice.

A quick link to David Skilling’s excellent post today about the tensions in introducing new ideas to Governments, and the importance of doing so:

After years of observing governments, I have come to the view that one of the most costly features of policy-making is ‘faith-based policy’ in which certain policies become articles of faith and are not subject to serious scrutiny. This can lead to poor outcomes at any time, but particularly in times of disruptive change when new ideas are needed to enable governments to adapt to a changing world. It is the governments that respond flexibly to a changing world that are more likely to sustain strong performance.

via Landfall  ✧  On faith-based policy.

There’s something to watch here: a young, rich and glamourus woman spurns her roots and becomes a poster child for change.  She knows how to cross both the digital and real worlds for impact, and clearly understands the system she exists within.

The pampered “it girl” of Putin’s Russia, author of “Philosophy in the Boudoir” and “How to Marry a Millionaire,” has restyled herself as a leader of the opposition. Last week, Ms. Sobchak hosted protest leaders on her new political talk show, which was canceled by Russia’s MTV after just one episode and is now broadcast on a Web site.

(via Kseniya Sobchak, Russia’s ‘It Girl,’ Dons Opposition Cloak –

I’m increasingly interested in how social movements and social media will intersect, and the implications for power brokers (both government and non-government).  I think there’s something here in social movements getting digital smarts and becoming digital movements (think rapid scale, emergence ‘from nowhere” and clear actions). Watch this space…

This is a fascinating and highly relevant study about the psychological constructs that people use when engaging with complex and urgent issues.  The paper has just been published in the American Psychological Association’s  Journal of Personality and Social Psychology.

A summary extract of the paper states:

The less people know about important complex issues such as the economy, energy consumption and the environment, the more they want to avoid becoming well-informed.

And the more urgent the issue, the more people want to remain unaware,

Through a series of five studies conducted in 2010 and 2011 with 511 adults in the United States and Canada, the researchers described “a chain reaction from ignorance about a subject to dependence on and trust in the government to deal with the issue.”

In one study, participants who felt most affected by the economic recession avoided information challenging the government’s ability to manage the economy. However, they did not avoid positive information, the study said. This study comprised 197 Americans with a mean age of 35 (111 women and 89 men), who had received complex information about the economy and had answered a question about how the economy is affecting them directly.

To test the links among dependence, trust and avoidance, researchers provided either a complex or simple description of the economy to a group of 58 Canadians, mean age 42, composed of 20 men and 38 women. The participants who received the complex description indicated higher levels of perceived helplessness in getting through the economic downturn, more dependence on and trust in the government to manage the economy, and less desire to learn more about the issue.


via Ignorance is Bliss When it Comes to Challenging Social Issues.