The Courage to Share
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The Courage to Share

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Presentation held @ NEXT11 as voters' choice on NEXT stage.

Presentation held @ NEXT11 as voters' choice on NEXT stage.

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    Slide 1 (Title): The world is changing around us. In the history of civilisation there have been only few discoveries that substantially changed our view and understanding of the world around us. It is remarkable how we tend to neglect these discoveries in favour of inventions like the steam engine, the aeroplane, the combustion engine and other technological breakthroughs. While all of these have changed the ways we behave they have not been able to significantly alter the way we perceive the world.   Let me explain what I mean by referencing the late Douglas Adams who apart from being the bestselling author of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy was a much respected philosopher in all things science related. In 1998 in an impromptu speech he held at Magdalene College in Cambridge he noted how these significant discoveries were somehow all related to inventions based on sand which is why he dubbed it the four ages of sand.

    Slide 2: The first age of sand began when we invented lenses that were strong enough to actually study the stars and their motions which turned out to be quite different from what we had previously thought. All of the sudden Earth wasn't the centre of the universe and the process of acknowledging this turned out to be quite bloody.
     
    The second age of sand is an iteration of the first when lenses became strong enough to study the building blocks of life itself. That turned out to be again quite different from our beliefs and caused a massive stir.
     
    The third age of sand is marked by the coming of the silicon chip that enabled us to process and thus prove or disprove our theories on what we had discovered in the first two ages and again altered the way we perceive the world significantly.
     
    And now we stand on the brink of the fourth age of sand.

    The fourth age of sand is an iteration of the third age in that fibre optics and silicon chips are now powering a gargantuan network of machines that allow us to shortcut the patterns and hierarchies through which our societies are organized, and communicate in ways that had been inconceivable mere 20 years ago. And soon we'll be facing the first generation of people that have never known a life without the internet who will bring a different mind-set and a new view of the world around us.

    Slide 3: There's no need to argue over whether we appreciate this change or not and what can be done to halt it. That has been tried over long periods with the coming of the first three ages and eventually has failed. Therefore the question we need to tackle is whether the business world is prepared to meet this change and how this can be achieved.

    What will we do with the digital natives? How will they find their way around in our businesses of old?

    Slide 4: Today's world is increasingly complex.

    People want to know if they are being lied to by politicians and they find out. Dubious dissertations are being torn apart by volunteers.
    People want to know how to help others in distress. They organise, create twitter maps and aid UN and other organisations to get the aid where it's needed most.
    People want to know more about the businesses they are buying from and they find out. Fishy PR campaigns are immediately challenged by massive communities and unveiled.

    These communities have one thing in common: they build up a swarm-like intelligence network and exchange information way before our old intelligence networks have even begun to understand what's going on.

    Slide 5: Employee > Team > Company > Community

    This is to do with a simple fact namely that these old intelligence networks, as well as our businesses are build around protecting and withholding information instead of sharing it. And while there are good reasons for some information not be shared outside the enterprise, the attitude behind this severely impacts the culture of sharing knowledge within the company.
    Hierarchically structured and process-optimized organizations now clash with the 2.0 approach of the social web. Many enterprises have come to realize that in order to stay ahead they will need to empower their employees to share their knowledge between them and also embrace the idea to team up. Quickly forming task forces and teams are what will make up the business of tomorrow.

    Slide 6: Sharing is about getting the employees into teams that form the company that can eventually interact with and embrace the community. I am not talking about spilling secrets or infringing on intellectual property.
    But at its core it is about the culture, the willingness to share that will empower companies to organise their workforce in intelligent networks.
    Please note that this is not about technologies and tools. These are all there and in many organisations they are already in place, for better or worse. And obviously for the social workplace to work we will be needing tools.

    Slide 7: But first and foremost this is about a paradigm shift in the way we perceive the world and the business world in particular. Our individual competitiveness will have to step aside for our joint efforts. We will not be able to find answers to the pressing questions of society and economy if we do not manage to pool our thoughts, our knowledge and our creativity. We will not be able to find the answers to our problems with the same mind-set that helped create them. The social workplace will help businesses to build the urgently needed bridges into the future. And this time we will cross these bridges together.

    Slide 8: Thank You
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The Courage to Share The Courage to Share Presentation Transcript

  • The Courage to Share
    The SocialWorkplace
  • The Fourth Age of Sand
  • What Lies Ahead?
  • 2.0 Meets Enterprise
  • 2.0 MeetsEnterprise
  • The Courage to Share
  • TogetherIsBetter
    The Road Ahead
  • Kai-Eric Fitzner
    Strategy Consultant
    @lao_tse
    Bianca Gade
    Social Media Officer
    @ChiliConCharme
    www.netmedia.detwitter.com/netmedianerfacebook.com/netmedianer