10 Truths at the Start of the Social Age

1. Evolved Context: any conversation, any business model, any structure of organisation, any activity, all take place within the evolved context of the Social Age, which represents new models of organisation, democratisation, social accountability, connectivity, and effectiveness.

Social Leadership 100 - Skills for the Social Age

2. ‘Nearly’ is ‘Nothing’: you either are, or you aren’t. You are either Dynamic, or Constrained. You are equal, or unequal. You are fair, or you fail to be fair. The Social Age radically rewards success, and penalises those that are nearly good enough. Many organisations are ‘nearly’.

3. ‘Reputation’ is ‘Everything’: good or bad, it’s imposed upon us. We can influence it, but only over time, and through actions.

4. We are at 50%: the skills that got us this far will not get us the rest of way. You know what you can do, but do you know what you still need to learn? Many individuals and organisations are wilfully blind to their own constraint.

5. The Backbone: the structure, opportunity, and limitation, placed upon our career used to be in the hands of organisations. Today, it’s in your hands, and those of the communities around us. Organisations will not provide a career long pathway, because their is no organisational career any more. With that gone, the fiction of future promises hollows out, and action today is all that counts. Future cake is for dreamers: fairness today counts.

6. ‘Nice’ is ‘Nice’: ‘Nice’ is comfortable: ‘effective’ is better. ‘Nice’ can be an existing system reassuring itself, ‘effective’ is a system adapting.

7. ‘Space’, not ‘Structure’: in the Social Age, we thrive in spaces to learn, not simply through conformity or understanding of abstract knowledge. Create spaces for people to learn. Provide support. Relinquish control.

Relinquish Control

8. Silence is a myth: you can drive voices out of earshot, but you can never silence them in a world of democratised communication.

9. ‘Interaction’ is not ‘Engagement’: you can measure a lot of things, but how many of them are simply interaction? The number of times something is done is less important than the engagement, reflection, and effectiveness that it generates. Don’t be deluded by simple statistics.

10. ‘Start’, not ‘End’: we are not yet 1% into the Social Age. Don’t be comforted or deluded by the initial frames that we have come to understand. All our work is sketched: be prepared to redraw it.

About julianstodd

Author, Artist, Researcher, and Founder of Sea Salt Learning. My work explores the context of the Social Age and the intersection of formal and social systems.
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9 Responses to 10 Truths at the Start of the Social Age

  1. Pingback: The Trust Conference 2018 | Julian Stodd's Learning Blog

  2. Dave Lee says:

    A very powerful and empowering set of truths, Julian. As I’ve shared the concepts of the Social Age with others, some form an idea that it’s about being warm and fuzzy, perhaps influenced by past cultural concepts from a half-century ago. Your choice of a Swiss army knife as the illustration for this post is appropriate. You’ve stated numerous times that adapting to the Social Age is about survival. These 10 truths make that starkly clear.

  3. Caroline Felce says:

    I’m not sure this will get to you as never replied to this before but just wanted to say how much I value your blog! I often forward them onto other people and just happen to read something out to a colleague today who said I should reply to you and tell you how much I love what you write.

    Your choice of words and articulation of thought are just lovely especially on a frustrating day within the NHS attempting to be a social leader…
    Thanks again and keep it up

    • julianstodd says:

      Thank you for those kind words Caroline, i really appreciate it. Part of being a Social Leader is to say ‘thank you’, so let me say ‘thanks’ for bringing a smile to my day 🙂

      Best wishes, Julian

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