Everyone is learning or trying to learn how to manage all this social stuff. As soon as they think they have the management process down the tools and dynamics change. Subsequently people and organizations find themselves stuck in managing irrelevant processes and messages which means they lose productivity and worse yet any chance for making progress.
Social Burn Out
A large percent of those who engage in all things social quickly burn out for numerous reasons including:
- They get lost in applications, options and irrelevant conversations
- All the time spent using social tools doesn’t produce a return that justifies the time
- Each new social tool introduced into the eco-system grabs our attention and steals our productivity
- Initially intrigued by the possibilities of all these tools, communities, platforms and people many soon are overwhelmed and fatigued with simply trying to keep up
You can manage a social process and/or an entire social system if both are stable, predictable and redundant. You cannot manage a process or system in a constant state of change. Trying to do so will only make things worse which is why many burn out from the fatigue.
Dealing with social innovation requires specific approaches. “If you try to manage the uncertainty inherent in innovation with tools and thinking designed for the relative certainty of using something new, you’ll run into trouble… You’ll be continuously surprised as your assumptions prove false”.
The most effective way to deal with uncertainty inherent in innovation is to have a learning process that “systematically confronts the unknown with new hypotheses, tests them, and eventually creates a new knowledge”.
When innovating, you cannot figure it all out and ahead of time and stick to one plan; so, don’t wait – just go for it, learn and adjust as you go. That’s why “successful innovators get used to moving forward, backing up, going sideways, chasing parallel paths for a while, consolidating, and then going forward again”. Now consider the paths Google has taken with new products over the last five years. Do you see a pattern?
Innovation That Disrupts
Managing something requires knowledge of the system whose aim is well-defined. Typically the aim is a result. Knowledge of your system comes from understanding operational processes that support efficient and effective throughput which enhances the end results. If the markets behavior changes and the buyer finds better products, better ways to get the product and more efficient interaction during the process then your old system gets disrupted. Being disrupted means things are no longer predictable, stable and thus change is required to manage things. Now examine Google+, read people’s experience (good and bad) and consider what the Google+ platform represents.
In order to comprehend the impact of Google+ we must learn to “think” differently about what, when, where, how and who will be changed as a result of use or using Google+. To see new possibilities and pending implications requires you to let go of old beliefs and learn to understand new beliefs. A change in beliefs means a change in philosophy. Changing ones philosophy isn’t about seeing things as they were rather seeing things as they could be. What it means is learning to innovate by what and how you think. Without understanding what and how an innovation means you could be out of touch with a significant shift on the horizon.
You can only understand a shift when you understand what created it. When examining Google+ look beyond the obvious comparisons and see the innovation which has no comparison. The social game just changed and Google’s past experiments have lead them to introduce a game changer.