A Business Week article states : In a new book, Here Comes Everybody, author and academic Clay Shirky argues the future is here; it’s time to get on with it
For many companies, adoption of social tools remains the domain of one department (often marketing or advertising) rather than a goal of the enterprise at large. The book does give tantalizing glimpses of the challenges and changes ahead, along with an analysis of the ongoing tension between commercial and noncommercial.
For most companies, and for many of the world’s citizens, such anarchy is unthinkable. In the book’s final pages Shirky does not shy away from asking whether the vast changes created by the emergence of new socially connected tools are—on balance—good or bad. He’s a self-confessed optimist, but also a pragmatist, arguing that the rise of groups of which the majority might not approve is not just a by-product of the tools; it’s the product, too.
Shirky calls for readers to acknowledge the new reality and look to the future. “The important questions aren’t about whether these tools will spread or reshape society but rather how they do so.” His book is a compendium of smartly analyzed, real-world examples of just that, and it provides a good foundation for those looking to get a handle on the new ways of the world
So the Big Question is How?
Notice Shirky;s emphasis is on how things will change not whether they will change. Now Shirky and others such as Doc Searls, Seth Godin and a host of thought leaders all agree that the emergence of a social world fueled by technology will change everything for businesses and individual alike. The issue is what further changes will be fueled by the initial changes we are witnessing today.
The question How is the fuel that drives creativity. The social tools of today are fueling creative forces against traditional business models, processes and individual mindsets. By simply asking the How question against the basic understanding of the current dynamics one finds the answers that in turn fuel further creativity.
The cycle of asking “how” is similar to a child asking “Why. How is a fundamental question driven by curiosity. Curiosity leads to discovery which begets learning.
Just maybe the emergence of social technologies is actually helping us all rediscover “how” to learn all over again. We can learn “how” things will change together and collectively find Socialutions to many of today’s perplexing problems. While we face significant economic, political and environmental problems the solutions are up to us to find. Not our governments, our politicians or corporation. The solutions are up to us. And that is a good thing.
What say you?