Sunday, May 29, 2011

Be part of lowering the cost of action - or be history

Glastonbury Abbey - (
I've long been baffled by those that think the future is digital. Those who believe this seem fixated on the idea that it is the technology that makes change, rather than what people do with it.
When the technology of the printing press arrived, the end of the story wasn't the development of the book. It was what people did with books that counted - how they spread ideas.
And in the printing press model, the changes to the way society organised echoed the mass production centralised way of doing things that the printing press - and later more forms or mass production - represented.
No, the future now isn't digital, it is self-organised (as I have suggested before). The web's role is to enable adhoc self-forming groups of purpose to form more effectively than at any time in history. And since communities of this kind reduce the cost of action - they cut the cost of achieving what more of us want, more effectively, than at any time past. The future that delivers is emerging and accelerating towards us now.
So what does that mean for the world we know? For your business? For your political party? Your form of government?
Well perhaps it's wise to reflect on what survived from the feudal world to the capitalist one? How many of the richest families in Britain were among the richest in Britain on both sides of the divide? And if there are any that survived, were they among the first to adopt capitalist principles of organisation - of both capital and labour?
What of our God and King? In Feudal times the Church sat alongside the King - in terms of power; and always well ahead in terms of wealth. Both saw their places tumble in the age of capital. Today they are at the peripherary: Pomp and splendour - about as relevant as the role of hand illluminator of Bibles.
God and King were superceded by Parliament (democratic legislatures) and the Law.
The question facing all who would mediate, all who would organise from the centre, all who would impose one size-fits-all-solutions on a fragmented fitness landscape, is: are you prepared to adapt to the looming self-organised future, to survive?
Are you prepared to start listening, start adapting to real time need, start opening up, start thinking like a platform to make change with the people who want the same as you (both inside and outside your org)...

If you aren't, then expect the rest of us to be self-organising to answer the question of what replaces you any day now.

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The rate of change is so rapid it's difficult for one person to keep up to speed. Let's pool our thoughts, share our reactions and, who knows, even reach some shared conclusions worth arriving at?