Guest post by Mike Edelhart, co-producer and CEO of The Pivot Conference (@pivotcon)
Historic shifts in business fundamentals don’t occur smoothly; rather they happen in sudden, sharp shifts which open unexpected chasms companies must traverse or plunge.
Today, the deep change in human behavior brought about by the emergence of social media marks the latest such shift, perhaps the most dramatic since the Industrial Revolution. Gone are the traditional success factors of operational efficiency and price advantage being uprooted by the conversational, consumer-centric nature of the emerging business environment. Already, quick response, collaboration and flexibility are trumping traditional competitive advantages. And this shift seems to be accelerating into an ever-more-social future.
Early on, I was one of the first analysts to explore the dynamics of the interest graph versus the social graph in social networks. Think Twitter vs. Facebook. I learned right away that interest graphs tend to share connections based on topics rather than relationships. I also found that every person possesses a series of 6-10 interest graphs that together form a social graph. Google refers to these groupings as “Circles.” The notion of manually organizing people by interests though proved daunting and unnecessary. It happens naturally and rather than leave it to humans for organization it requires a human algorithm to help people behind the scenes better manage their contacts and information by analyzing and gauging interests in real time. It’s one of the reasons I always believed that Google’s social strategies suffered from the lack of expertise in and diminished sense of importance for the subject of humanities.
Digital Darwinism is a fate that threatens most organizations in almost every industry. Because of this, businesses not only have to compete for today but also for the unforeseeable future. Digital Darwinism is the phenomenon when technology and society evolve faster than an organization can adapt. There are many reasons for this of course. Every fabric of a company is strained due to internal and external influences. The challenge lies amongst the very leaders running the show today. Their mission and the processes and systems they support today may already be working against them.
I follow the Maker Movement as a consumer, analyst and also as a maker. What is the maker movement? It a manifestation of the DIY (Do It Yourself) or DIWO (Do It With Others) culture where everyday people design, build and/or market something that they want or need on their own rather than buying something off the shelf. The maker movement has led to the creation of a number of technology products and solutions by typical individuals working without supportive infrastructure. This is facilitated by the increasing amount of information available to individuals and the decreasing cost of electronic components.
Businesses today are met with unique challenges and opportunities that necessitate pause. For years, management models were developed to optimize the pursuit of business objectives. Processes were established and hierarchies, technologies and reporting systems supported them. Everything was business as usual until it wasn’t.
Nothing is permanent. As in life, things change. And so is true in the world of business. The models and practices that have been taught for generations are tested in a time when customer and employee behaviors and resulting expectations are evolving without official study, strategy and systematic transformation.
Change is in the air. With disruptive technologies hitting businesses from the outside in and the inside out, how companies invest in technology and ultimately how people use it to get work done is under significant re-evaluation. At the same time, the rising workforce clash between older and younger generations is also pushing HR to radically reform management processes and education programs.
Today, I’m proud to announce the release of Altimeter Group’s second report on Digital Transformation. This new report is aimed at executives and digital strategists to help them (you) further understand the state of digital transformation as you plan your next steps and investments.
In our initial report, “Digital Transformation: Why and How Companies are Investing in New Business Models to Lead Digital Customer Experiences (DCX),” we learned that digital transformation was as much about technology as it was about people. It was a much more human story, one that shared insights, advice and cautionary tales from those on the front lines.
There’s a lot of talk about the future of work…
Technology is indeed connecting us in ways that improve communication, discovery and connectivity. The world is becoming a much smaller place as a result. Chances are that you are connected in one network or another to people in at least 12 other countries. Although social networking and smartphones are relatively new as a staple in the everyday life of adults and kids, how we as consumers use these networks and devices is outpacing how we as employees use technology in the workplace. Over time, how we make decisions as consumers, what we come to expect from the companies that we do business with, and simply how we want to work with them is shifting the balance of power away from today’s business models to the connected masses.
How teens use social media and why it matters to you. Generation Z = (Today’s Teens, Preteens and Children)
If you want a glimpse of the future of technology and its impact on society, study how younger generations interact with one another today. While everyone is talking about Millennials these days, there’s another, potential more disruptive generation behind them…Generation Z.
Silicon Valley is more than a place, it’s a movement. While many debate where the “next” Silicon Valley will gain prominence, the point that many onlookers miss is that innovation is at the heart of the crusade. Whether it’s in the San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, New York, London, Paris, India, et al., innovation is global and its sole purpose is to disrupt our way of life…for the better of course.
Brian Solis is a digital analyst, anthropologist, and also a futurist. In his work at Altimeter Group, Solis studies the effects of disruptive technology on business and society. He is an avid keynote speaker and award-winning author who is globally recognized as one of the most prominent thought leaders in digital transformation.
His most recent book, What's the Future of Business: Changing the Way Businesses Create Experiences (WTF), explores the landscape of connected consumerism and how business and customer relationships unfold in four distinct moments of truth. His previous book, The End of Business as Usual, explores the emergence of Generation-C, a new generation of customers and employees and how businesses must adapt to reach them. In 2009, Solis released Engage, which is regarded as the industry reference guide for businesses to market, sell and service in the social web.