A company’s business model used to be slow to change, difficult to move and even harder to bend. In the Social Era business models must be fast, fluid and flexible. Otherwise you end up competing with yourself.
The 21st Century’s biggest challenge for business is to move the organization forward by moving the organization out of the way. We’ve learned to organize based on old business models and outdated beliefs about how to manage this thing we call “an organization”. If the purpose and definition of an “organization” changes then how and what we manage must also change.
Fast, Fluid and Flexible
“Leadership” has changed when a decentralized group of people can take down a government. “The Value Chain” has changed when the customer is no longer just the “buyer” but also a co-creator. “Human Resources” have changed when most of the people who create value for your organization are neither hired nor paid by you. “Competition” has changed when individuals can create value through a centralized network of resources: for example, designing a product from anywhere, producing it through a 3D factory, financing it through community and distribution from anywhere to anywhere. Yet our business models have not changed to keep pace with these shifts. Here’s a quick visual summary of what has changed so far:
These changes are not transitory or reversible, but fundamental and irrevocable. The social-era models are inherently more fast, fluid, and flexible than the models that preceded them. The big question is: how are we actually going to do this thing? via Stop Talking About Social and Do It – Nilofer Merchant – Harvard Business Review.
Talking the Talk vs. Walking the Walk
Any organization can use this thing called social media to “talk the talk”. But few are able to “walk the walk” required to turn theory into reality. In the Social Era reality is what you do while theory is what you say. To turn theory into reality you must learn to create and build a business that is fast, fluid and flexible.