I’ve been running a workshop today around the Socially Dynamic organisation, exploring aspects of learning, leadership, technology and change in the Social Age. The term ‘Socially Dynamic’ refers to an organisation which has moved beyond the simple reliance on hierarchy, formal authority, process and control towards a state where it is facilitating and enabling every level. It has unlocked the power of its communities with a devolved and distributed Social Authority giving us an ability to sense make in this new space.
Constrained organisations are well intentioned and busy, but subject to control effects which drain the energy and draw them to lethargy. By contrast, the Socially Dynamic organisation is able to achieve amplification and momentum by being fully adapted, by having reinvented itself away from the Victorian architecture of a previous age towards a much more fluid and adaptive setup.
There is no one single point of adaptation, but rather a holistic pattern of change. This is not simply a matter of leadership, compliance, infrastructure, facilities, recruitment, or HR, but rather an interplay between all of these and more within and alongside the community itself.
The ways that communities are engaged will be different too: a new social contract that is fairer and clearer and includes aspects of social recognition and reward, not simply mechanisms of control.
How will we know when we have this? If we don’t know then we are probably not there yet. The Socially Dynamic organisation will be apparent as it is Socially Dynamic: in other words the experience is lived every day to the culture we experience in our everyday reality. If we have to look hard for it, if we only find it in places, then we are still constrained with one or two elements of the organisation pulling ahead but doubtless with other parts lagging behind. This is the unfairness of dynamic change: if you are not fully there, you are not there at all. We can be well-intentioned, because intent sits at the start of the dynamic change framework: but it’s transformation which is the key, and the enemy of transformation is misaligned energy, a failure to relinquish control, or a belief that we are there already.