WEs we like - Written by on Tuesday, March 15, 2011 18:40 - 0 Comments

The Transformational Power of WE

(The following is a transcript of a speech I gave recently …)

The Transformational Power of WE
What do I mean by that?

Change has always been a constant in our lives.
Hasn’ it?
The change nowadays – though – is different. It’s a fundamental shift!
Today change distinguishes itself by its scale and speed.

Why is this?

I think there are two reasons. One is WE, you, me – the people.
The other one is technology.

So let me start with to explain what this WE is.

Well – there are different understandings of this WE. May be even different levels.
There are tiny, little WEs – such as a couple, a mum and her child, a boy and his dog. You and your friends.
On another level the WE might mean family, the company you are working for, the tribe, the culture you are living in.
The WE can be a political party, a group you are engaging with on a specific topic.
WE can be a nation state. A continent. The entire planet.
WE – today for me – is 6.7 billion people.

WE can even go beyond that …
But let’s stay here on planet earth … and have a closer look on what defines this WE.

No matter on which level you look at this WE – the WE is defined by the shared values of its members.This becomes very obvious when we talk about religion or political parties.
We saw entire nations collapsing because the values of its citizens and its government were diverging! Just look at Tunisia and Egypt, look at Bahrain, Yemen, Ivory Coast, Gabon …

And it’s also true for companies.
As a leader of a company it becomes key to be aware of the core values that are holding your company together. Values shared by the management and the employees. And business partners and customers. If these values are in SYNCH – your company flourishes!

But knowing your core values, knowing what defines your various WEs is not enough!
It is not enough to achieve change.
And it is not enough to achieve collective action!

So, when do you we start to act? When do we engage?
Well … WE do engage if WE care!
Whenever we care – there is action.

This is the moment when technology jumps in and becomes tremendously important. Especially web 2.0 tools such as Facebook, twitter, youtube, … you name it!
Technology enables us to connect in real time, instantly through our fingertips.
No matter where we are, who we are – no matter when.

Technology is the number one TURBO charger for collective action!
People can instantly share their values, thoughts, ideas, talk about what they care … and then action follows.

During the Shah Revolution in Persia – what we today call Iran – people were writing revolutionary messages on their banknotes. This was the medium which circulated the most – and of course nobody would destroy it …. That was very clever these days!

Today WE don’t need to think about how to connect. How to spread our words.
WE are connected, if WE want.
WE can share if WE want to share.

Just this week it happened.
For the first time, more people got news online than from their newspapers.
And the news no longer comes from “traditional” media – it comes from you and me. it comes from US!
So WE are the Medium! WE are the message!

This is the new model we need to talk about.
This is why change is so fast and almost unlimited in scale!!!

As a company, as a political party, as an individual or a citizen it is our challenge to navigate within and between these various WEs and to manoeuvre safely through what can become uncertain and unpredictable waters.

In order not just to survive but to thrive, I believe the following principles can help …

(transcript of the principles will follow soon)

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