The following is speculation and i can not at this stage back any of this up. However i do fundamentally believe in what i am about to post.
In the current economic climate there are huge pressures to reduce costs and to increase value and this often leads organisations to either announce “radical” changes or even large scale “transformation” programmes. You can see it in all aspects of society and government and it features quite heavily in all political manifestos to some degree.
However how can you really tell if an organisation is really up for “radical” change or “transformation”? There a few ways in which you can do this but i want to suggest a simple measure.
If an organisation is seriously considering the use of Social Software to improve ALL aspects of their business then i believe that they are serious about “radical transformation”
Now i don’t mean organisations who on face value seem like they are doing stuff but when you scratch the surface all you see is one person working very hard to make it work (Long live these people by the way). But i suspect that if they left then the desire to continue would also leave with them.
The reason i say this is because to fully embrace the adoption of social software means that you are prepared to fundamentally review your business strategy, business structure, engagement strategy, communications strategy, knowledge management strategy, workforce development strategy and your ICT strategy. IT will mean a fundamental review of your organisations current thinking. This is the radical transformation that will be required to fully embrace and adopt social software platforms.
The organisations who are prepared to do this, in my opinion will be the ones who succeed and not just succeed but build sustainable relationships with staff and customers.
Ok so a simple test maybe but one i believe will give a measure at least as to how ambitious and transformational a particular organisation wants to be.
I would just add one additional thought that an organization may be driven towards a transformation because “competitors” are doing so or they are joining because of a herb/bandwagon effect even through there remains significant misgivings about this. They may not have a clear idea of how they will be disrupted. They may also be pulled into a transformation because they see more benefit and something that fits their culture and can be an accelerator for them.
Many times it is a mix of these and an organization my buy into transforming a part of the organizations which, if successful, seeds the rest.
Generally I have used the “generative order” as a theory to understand change. Based on this theory that is based on entropy (also that deals with systems dynamics) following is the brief discussion about when the change occurs.
Change affects everybody. And it will happen again and again, when the entropic equilibrium is disturbed. It is a systemic property. It is not driven by a person nor a simple one factor. It is not a property of personality. It is the intrinsic systemic property. Change happens so political reforms happen. It is not the other-way around.
Many factor comes into play for a change to occur. It is very difficult to visualize changes and the transformations. The only thing that can be understood is the process that facilitaes the change not the final form the change will lead into, until it comes to a rest. As John Zachman points, change is a ’step function’. It is not a liner extrapolation of the past. It is a dynamic evolution of a completely new system, which is very difficult to be envisaged.
From the Theory of Constraints, it is known that the degree of Complexity reduces the degree of Freedom within a certain system boundary. After a certain complexity threshold is reached, the system has to completely metamorphise to overcome the systemic constraint, and to do so, has to evolve into a completely new system. It will not any longer be mere re-form, rather it will be ‘generative’.
Certainty can only be held that long. After a certain threshold it will be the fiefdom of the Uncertainty until the next stable state is reached. While discussing harmony, chaos is presumed. The ceaseless juggle between the two is responsible for producing a newer system.
Thank you both for your comments and thoughts.