Uncertainty: a shifting landscape of expectations and alliances, technologies and goals. Ambiguity: what does winning mean anymore and will we ever stop striving? Ambiguity: that thing that used to work is less effective these days, the path is less clear. Striving: constant learning, adaptation and rapidity of response. The need for community.
The Social Age is a time of constant change: an evolved landscape of work and play. The nature of work itself has changed and, alongside it, the social contract between organisation and individual. Our relationship with knowledge has evolved too: away from knowing stuff to creating meaning. The ability to find meaning in the moment and to do it again, tomorrow, differently. Which is what we call agility and uninhibited curiosity. The desire and freedom to question everything.
Agility is not a foregone conclusion: most organisations are infrastructurally lethargic, unable to adapt, innovate, create or respond at speed. Why? Because process and mechanisms of control are used to codify behaviour into narrowly constrained and inflexible pathways that are the enemy of agility. We create organisations that are unable to bend, unable to think freely, lacking both permission and space to do so.
To thrive? We need our communities: sense making entities that power agility in the Social Age.
We need socially collaborative technology, to house and facilitate our conversations and activities.
We need the humility to lead by doing, through sharing and storytelling, by ensuring equality and freedom for everyone. We set aside our mantle of formal authority in favour of social leadership.
We become agile: constantly learning, adapting, sharing and growing. We thrive by being given or taking the permission to change. Only organisations that understand this, that welcome it, that adapt to it, will be here ten years from now.