Earlier, in The “Odd New Thing”: Social Media, we touched upon how executives treat social media as the something they do not really understand but feel the need to be part of. And in Social Media Teams we discussed changes brought to the organization structure and the inner workings of a corporation by social media.
What is true for social media in particular is also true for new technologies and digital in general: New, innovative ways of doing business force companies to undergo drastic changes in organizational structure, uses of technology, measures of success and resource allocation. More than merely the way of doing business, the business mentality itself is becoming more customer-centric, more adaptive and less tolerant to mistakes.
Based on my observations of executives in Turkey, especially those of traditional companies, most react to these changes in one of the two extremes: apathy or obsession. Some consider these changes to be something to be managed in a vacuum, to be handled by others, either someone within the organization or by an external consultant. They do not really want to be involved, and as long as there are no problems, and it does not crowd their space, it is all good.
Others get really excited about all this transformation and want to become a part of it. They spend a lot of unnecessary time and energy at the expense of other areas, driving their teams and colleagues crazy. Even though they do not understand the underlying strategy or the methods all that well, they want to “do it” anyway, albeit in a manic manner.
“Some visionary companies — Burberry, Marks and Spencer — are lucky enough to have CEOs who grasp the power of digital. These companies are embedding digital into every aspect of their operations and are collapsing the walls between “eBusiness” and the traditional store or branch chains.
But most organizations aren’t so well positioned. Many eBusiness leaders have a vision for agile commerce that isn’t shared or even understood by their senior management and are now finding that their primary mission is to drive transformational change across their companies from within their area of accountability — selling the vision upwards, sideways, and downwards and positioning themselves as cross-functional leaders.
This takes vision, great communication skills, and the courage of their convictions — much like our pacifist revolutionaries. Change driven not from the top, but from small seeds.”