I joined a webinar this morning, curious about the topic and what else Don Tapscott would say. Twitter was communicated as the visible backchannel, so a few tweets in I commented “You don’t hear the word ‘oligopoly’ very often.” Don communicates in a visual, psychological, visceral, and very unique way.
His bio goes something like this:
Don Tapscott is one of the world’s leading authorities on business strategy and was recently named one of the 50 most influential living management thinkers in the world by Thinkers50. As Chairman of nGenera Insight, Don also leads research and education programs. Tapscott is the author of 13 widely-read books about information technology in business and society, including 2007’s bestselling business book in the US, Wikinomics (co-authored with Anthony Williams), as well as Paradigm Shift, The Digital Economy, and The Naked Corporation. His most recent book, Grown Up Digital, is a sequel to his 1997 bestseller Growing Up Digital. Coming in September 2010, Macrowikinomics: Rebooting Business and the World.
He’s kind of a big deal.
Not only that, but he thinks and articulates that thinking in a way I would love to imitate; drawing the audience into a one-way conversation, stimulating their imagination, and turning it into conversation and collective intelligence.
Tapscott began by taking us through a multitude of visuals of murmuration of starlings. This phenomenon is magical, but methodical. The starlings never bump into each other, but a tiny change for one results in a huge change for the social mass. They do this for survival, for safety, and to share collective intelligence. Tapscott used this to punctuate the point that we are in the early days of some profound changes in the way that organizations work. Neural nodes of human connection are all around us and we are re-wired, with the quality of connections becoming more important than ever. My thought: the enterprise systems we use to work aren’t designed for our rewired brains.
He shared the 5 Principles for Innovation, Wealth, and Sustainability:
The enterprise must look at intellectual property in a different way: some IP needs to be protected and some IP needs to be shared. The industrial economy is losing gas fast, and the internet economy is gaining strength. What was mass production is now mass collaboration.
Hybrid thought: Part of the solution for enterprises is how to figure out how to connect with self-organizing communities and how to enable self-organizing communities within the firewall.
We’re at a turning point in our history, where our institutions are fundamentally rebooting. This includes financial systems, government, universities, newspapers, media & entertainment, healthcare, science, energy, etc. Wait for the replay to be posted to see how far he gets into 20th century institutionalized models vs. 21st century networks.
Don paused, then stated an idea that I very much agree with: we need business platforms based on people, not documents, or sites, and etc. People are at the core of a new business operating system, where a new generation of knowledge management exists that isn’t containerized. It’s infinite:
- Personal Profiles
- Industrial Strength Social Networking
- Blogging and Microblogging
- Wikis and Document Co-creation
- Team Project Tools
- Deliberation-Decision Making
- New Generation Knowledge Management
- IT Integration and Administration
Of course, he proclaimed a Crisis of Leadership:
Paradigm shifts involve dislocation, conflict, confusion, uncertainty. New paradigms are nearly always received with coolness, even mockery or hostility. Those with vested interests fight the change. The shift demands such a different view of things that established leaders are often last to be won over, if not at all.
This is not new. And, it’s a bit outdated at HP, where I’m surrounded by a bunch of people who want to lead in this area. But, his question was: “What is your role going to be?” I answered in the Twitter backchannel that mine was to “integrate, redesign, retrofit, and come out with something collaborative and successful on the other side.” There are few enterprises that exist today that can take a green field approach to collaboration. Tell me how to solve that problem…