In today's hyper speed networked world of changes many individuals and business alike are in a hurry to find answers to their existing problems or to quickly capitalize on opportunities before them.
Many of us are used to quick fixes or what I call "answers in a box" so we can move on to the next opportunity or problem to fix.things or make them better.
Organizations are complex organisms with hundreds of thousands of inter-connected elements that create the outcomes of their efforts. For example, individually our brains average over six hundred thousand thoughts a day and our thoughts create "patterns of thinking" that influence our emotions, our spirit and physical condition and the ongoing results of these collective interactions, the outcomes
Organizations are made up of numerous individuals and thousands of business processes that collectively try to produce a targeted end result, typically an improved economic gain. When an organization wants to improve the results they either add a new product or service or try to maximize market position with existing products and services both aimed at improving results.
Individually if we're not satisfied with the current results of our life we attempt to change things to make improvements. It could be a new job, an improved relationship, a better networking tool or a physical malady which needs to be addressed. We all aim at better results.
We are all oriented to a result and when we look to our future we aim at better results, individually and organizationally. When you look at the type of activities emerging within the social networking space the patterns are clear, everyone is looking for a result to satisfy something both individually and organizationally.
Methods come before results
In our book, The Emergence of The Relationship Economy, we examined the twenty factors which influence both individual and organizational success within the networked world. One of the suggestions that came out of a pier review of the book was "can you provide specific actions one should undertake for each of the factors analyzed?" Our response was "will each organization or individual who reads the book have the same set of objectives?" The answer was NO.
That being the case specific suggestions for each factor covered would not serve the best interest of the reader. Rather providing the reader with a method of determining which factors have the greatest influence on their specific objectives and "how" to plan for leveraging those factors for better results would create the most value for readers.
Getting the most out of the medium of social networking, whether individually or organizationally, is more relative to the methods than to declaring "this is the result I want so let's simply go and get it". If we ignore the "how" we will likely produce unintended and less desirable results.
There are numerous factors that influence the value proposition of social networking. No one factor is the quick fix for all rather it is the prioritization and analysis of the factor interactions that influence the desired results. When we want personal improvements in life we must consider our thinking, emotions, physical, spiritual and economic conditions that need to change before we can achieve our aim for improvement. The same applies to leveraging a networked world for personal and professional benefits.
For organizations the issues are wider and deeper when you consider the collective internal factors that influence opportunities for change and related outcomes. The internal factors for businesses are largely influenced by all the individuals within the organization starting with leadership. Thought leadership is a requirement for improving the aim or end results. Thought leadership is not simply stating a result but understanding the need to emphasize the methods necessary to achieve the result.
Has knowing the result you want been the answer to achieving it or has the method to achievement been the answer? Some will argue that creativity is the biggest factor of the networked world. While creativity is an abundant factor without a purpose or aim is may produce the wrong result.
On a daily basis we are becoming overrun with new information, invitations, relations and the hype of "the latest and greatest is better than the existing and most used". Just look at the hype around twitter, video, open social and while preparing this post my inbox has ten others suggestions for the latest and greatest with a promise of something to someone somewhere.
While some may actually improve my methods unless I have defined my aim most will likely produce unintended results and just steal more of my time and attention away from my purpose.What say you?