2013 Will Be About Redefining Power

by Jay Deragon on 12/19/2012

learn_quote copy1-thumb-580x290-2591Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty.   Ronald Reagan 

Business has been run by the iron hand of power.  The hierarchical model of “power” emerged from organization of military resources aimed at fighting and winning a war. The same mindset carried over during the industrial revolution as business grew and adopted the “command and control” mentality of the military.  Individuals and organizations have grown up in leadership paradigms which evolved around winning the war on results, money. Money gave men power over markets and people.

The emerging dynamics of all things social present evidence of a new kind of power. Initially the new power hierarchy has been manifested as popularity which equates to the power of influence.  While this hierarchy does represent the power of influence it doesn’t equate to the typical organizational hierarchy of “power, control and money” that exist within most organizations.

Power Is Being ReDefined By You

Nilofer Merchant states: Power has been defined in terms of the ways in which you can have control over others — by paying them to do things, to direct activities, by allocating resources. In this view, some people have power and some don’t. It’s a win-lose construct.

Power used to be the thing that got things done, and influence used to be the thing you used to try and get things done. But today, the power of connections, community, and shared ideas offer a different lever in what can be accomplished. It is open-source software and encyclopedias written by crowds and revolutions seeded on Internet portals. It is Kickstarter, Meetup and Ushahidi and any number of other platforms that allow disparate, diffuse strangers to marshal the kind of influence that once only centralized institutions could. This power is different than the traditional classification of hard and soft power. It is networked, engaged power.

The traditional definitions of power suggest that power is binary, situational, or limited. The Social Era is showing us a fuller truth about power. And it is this:

It does not define you. No. You define it. via Just How Powerful Are You? – Harvard Business Review.

In the #SocialEra we the people awoke and realized past definitions and beliefs about “power” were skewed to the few rather than the many. These old views have led organization to the propensities of self-gratification in violation of our moral duties to each other. The SocialEra enables the  human network to pursue life, liberty and happiness through self organization that enables individualism without sacrificing others.

It is a new era and it enters with a redefinition of power that you define.

{ 1 comment }

Matt Brennan December 28, 2012 at 9:35 am

It’s really fascinating to watch how social media has transformed certain industries, and the way we act as a whole. It’s certainly given a voice to the many. I’ll be watching for 2013. Good post!

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