Friday 2 July 2010

Growth flows naturally from the inside

In a tweet conversation with Erik Roscam Abbing today I was proverbially struck by lightning: (read from bottom to top)

It all started with his tweet
@GrahamHill @designthinkers @joerka when people experience too much forced change they get a burn out. Same for organisations i think.
upon which I pointed to my latest post on E20: Intimacy versus Anonymity

Of the conversation that followed, this is the outcome, reformulated by me:

Change is what you realise you have to do when looking back, growth comes naturally by just looking ahead
Change comes from the outside, growth flows from the inside

Rocket science? To me it is. Change erodes, change costs energy. Growth is necessary, and gives energy. Is it mere words? No, it's a mindset that comes along with it. Will anyone think of stopping a baby growing up into an adult? We cut the branches of a tree when it becomes too large from our point of view, but we never blame the tree for growing. The USA under Obama rightfully calls for change because something is wrong, not because they're doing fine and are ready to take the next step in civilisation

Do you have to lay off people and replace them by machines to be more "cost-effective"? That's change - you weren't paying attention
Do you consider buying machines in stead of hiring new people? That's growth - you're right on time

When do the chances increase of growth automatically turning into change? Exactly: when your empire becomes too big

I'm currently reading John Hagel's paper titled "From Push to Pull" and find that there isn't so much a call for Enterprise 2.0, but rather Company 2.0. In my view there is a lesser need for control with Social and other "human movements" on the one hand, and a growing impossibility to control on the other hand because of the sheer size of enterprises these days. I see many, many attempts to control and increase the grip on enterprise employees, now the other variable in the business game, the customer, has grown so far out of control, mainly due to the global connectedness caused by Internet, social networks and social media

They're trying to catch the customer again with socalled Social CRM, but to me that's just a pleonasm. Thus, out of fear, enterprises try to control the employee by binding him with social media guidelines, taking away his blog, and presenting him with a Business Ethics Code - not realising the employee is just growing the organisation into the right direction

Once again, I see Proximity and Distance translated to very important phenomena: as Proximity enables Intimacy, it also means Growth. Distance brings you Anonymity and Change. Distance allows you to Push, but in order to be able to Pull you need Proximity. People will always continue to (want to) grow within an organisation, and if the enterprise refuses to do so it will cause friction, to be followed by (painful and costly) change later on

Let's grow this world to new heights. Stop changing everyone and everything around you, and start growing, and allowing for growth. Grow your blossoms into fruits and you'll see a magnitude of change all around you - effortlessly

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