3.9 New leaders, new organizations


    Between those Internet tribes – or “swarms,” as Martijn Aslander labeled them in his book, Easycratie – we need daredevils: people who dare to innovatively steer and interpret for traditional organizations. And in such a way that the employees in the established organizations are encouraged to act autonomously, and thus take part in change and organizational renewal.

    The Belgian management thinker Jef Staes calls these daredevils “Red Monkeys.” Thanks to their new leaders, these new employees, the Red Monkeys, will look for the connections with enormous potential of energy and knowledge that are available within the virtual social networks (and within their own organizations). This way, the new leaders and their new employees safeguard the future of their organizations. And, in doing so, they safeguard their own futures as well. New leaders have the capacity at their disposal to prompt a group or organization to move independently. Hierarchy is marginally important. New leaders are able to break through large and small existing structures, disrupt the immobilizing equilibrium, and re-enable innovation.

    Stephen Covey describes new leaders as: “people who are taking charge of their lives or are taking matters into their own hands in certain situations, without depriving others. Thinking in terms of synergy. Continuously learning. Communicating openly. Acting from their own vision.”

    As a matter of fact, all new employees are potential new leaders! With so many new leaders from and in organizations and virtual value networks, we will be able to find a balance between money, alternative value systems, and social capital. This balance is vital for the sustainability of the new value networks. New leaders, new employees, new organizations…

    You can learn much more about these Organizations30 in part three of this book.

    Social virtual networks have not been solely for private use for a long time. Particularly in companies and organizations, they offer unprecedented possibilities because networking with people externally and internally – thanks to the Internet – can solve the classic Coase Ceiling dilemma. Our self-imposed economic restrictions will thus disappear. We can move from scarcity to abundance. Value creation with (virtual) social networks means that we are no longer bound to traditional economic limitations such as time, place, and means!

    The current crisis has made it clear to us that the old ways are no longer sufficient. Contrary to the past, this applies to many more people at the same time. Information is increasingly available and penetrable. We are able to determine more and more what is wrong with it. Technology progresses at a dazzling speed. Obviously, we have to utilize them. It is time we took matters into our own hands and enter the era of communicative self-management. The Internet is our vehicle. The virtual social networks form the movement. Many people are already moving. For others, this shift may still be invisible; they see a calm sea. But, under the surface, a real seaquake is taking place. I find the word “tsunami” to be the best to use to describe the fundamental social changes that are awaiting us, and heading our way at a blistering pace.

    The TrendSpeech group of Trendwatchers state in their 2013 document that “the biggest challenge humanity presently has is not technology, but adaptation. Are we going to adapt to new technological opportunities from an existing paradigm of consumption and control, or from human measure and balance?”

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    Jef Staes on 'Sheep and Red Monkeys'

    Jef Staes is an expert on innovation and change. He is also a keynote speaker and author. (http://www.jefstaes.com) Connect via