When we look at the behaviours of Social Learning communities, or the behaviours we see in the communities around Social Leadership, we see many that carry positive connotations: nurturing, enabling, challenging, supporting, storytelling, sharing, and rehearsing. But one behaviour stands out that is more difficult. Subversion.
It is a function of communities, and the individuals within them, to subvert established process and system, to challenge convention, to defy authority. The mistake is to think that this is always bad.
When people operate within constraining systems, within rule sets, within processes, they sometimes discover that these are neither the most efficient nor effective way of doing things. They may be compliant, they may be regulated, but they may not necessarily be the best.
If there is no space to rehearse and prototype new behaviours, if there is no space to challenge the received wisdom,if there is no space to make things better, then we may resort to subverting the system.
Sometimes people break things because they are bad people doing bad things, but often they break things because they are good people trying to find better ways to do inefficient or ineffective things. Under Social Learning approaches, utilising the very best of Social Leadership, we can let them do that, if we are humble enough to listen to the stories they tell.
The ultimate expression of agility is a Socially Dynamic organisation, one in which the voice of the individual can be heard when it needs to be heard, and the decision as to when it needs to be heard lies with the individual or the community that surrounds them. The ultimate expression of a Resistant organisation is one which goes out of its way to silence those voices, which only his the voices it wants to hear, the voices which have been granted formal authority.
Why do we need to be Socially Dynamic? Because the Social Age is a time of constant change, and in a time of constant change, organisations need to have strength in depth, and that includes the ability to question, the ability to be curious and sometimes the ability to subvert things, to change them, to make them better when we don’t even know that they are broken.