The digital revolution inspiring my thinking

I have recently had the opportunity to reflect on my learnings as a HR professional and as part of my journey I have become acutely aware in how much information we can now access without doing a professional course or studying at University. I have always loved researching things as a form of learning and developing, and my love for business and new things means that I research anything about organisations, global issues, economics, politics and HR.

In the last few months I have become totally immersed in the digital world. I am finding myself reading journal articles and papers from blogs to up-skill myself in new and progressive concepts whilst I look for my next career opportunity. I am learning about subjects that I knew very little about, things such as workforce planning, social capital and innovation management. Although I am not currently working I feel I am spending my time creatively. I am finding this process incredibly empowering.

Recently LinkedIn has become the topic of conversation for professionals where you can connect with professionals and discuss views with subject matter experts from around the world – this is nothing short of amazing. Another platform driving networking on a professional level is Word press, a simple concept that demonstrates another sub level of this new paradigm. It means anyone can develop his or her own professional webpage; all you need is a laptop, an ability to learn and apply new skills, and some inspiration and ideas.

Part of my regular routine in informing myself about the world, business and organisations includes having a twitter account. I don’t necessarily tweet myself (only when I feel really passionate about something) however I follow people who tweet. And this means that on a regular basis (daily) I have interesting information, on subjects that I enjoy, flowing into the world of Katrina from all over the world, people and organisations. And if someone tweets about an amazing talk or a research paper or a blog, I immediately know about it.

Last week I was scrolling through my tweets when I saw Socialmediatoday mention an inspiring talk via TED Talks. Watching TED Talks is similar to being in a university lecture, only you have no exam or assignment at the end of it! As I gave in to my thirst for information I quietly spent the next 18 minutes with eyes on Don Tapscott listening to the Four Principles for the Open World.

Don’s talk has only deepened my thinking about the new digital age and confirmed my strong sense of awareness that the world is about to change. He describes this change as the digital revolution. I believe I have already seen changes in my behaviour as a direct result of me immersing myself in this new world. Suddenly I am connecting, interacting and networking with professional people all over the world and I am learning and developing as a result. Don brings into focus what this means on a higher global level.

I don’t want to spoil Don’s talk so I won’t go into too much detail however I do want to touch on the insightful points he makes.

  • Basically the world is in great need of change; he refers to this as the burning platform, the economic crisis that so many of us are experiencing. And this is the demand-pull factor for change.
  • Then at the same time there is the new world emerging which comprises of an interactive, hyper-connected, immersive, virtual, digital online eco-system or mega platform where users create and share knowledge, innovate and collaborate together, connect and communicate globally, buy merchandise, write refection blogs, share photo’s and presentations, develop projects and express themselves in the world.
  • Both these factors are driving the push towards a new knowledge sharing digital platform world.

Don discusses a concept called openness. Openness is where organisations embrace flexibility, innovation and have no formal boundaries. It is where people share ideas, embrace true collaboration, innovate and create value. He uses a particular example where a business used this open approach, the power of the story is strong. Believe it or not businesses are going to start opening themselves up to harness the collective intelligence of people outside their organisation boundaries and as the world starts to embrace this openness organisations will need to transform, structurally and culturally. As a person who loves understanding how organisations systematically function and operate I could not think of a more amazing moment to be living in.

As humans start to share their intelligence and ideas across the world, from our bedrooms to our workplaces I believe that we can work towards the world becoming a more sustainable compassionate place, where you can connect with others and contribute in a meaningful way. I believe that organisations and society will benefit greatly from this change. I think the new digital world is a wonderful learning platform that is going to unleash a new sense of networked intelligence, creativity and innovation. I couldn’t be more excited about being part of this positive change in the world.

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