Several years ago I predicted that one of the biggest threats to the use of disruptive web tools in the workplace would be assimilation. The adoption of the language and platforms of social media by those responsible for maintaining the status quo as a way of taking the power out of it and assimilating it into business as usual.
At the launch of Tibbr (a really useful looking tool and this post is not a reflection on Tibco who have developed it) I had several people in suits tell me that business is business and talk of revolution and disruption is likely to fall on deaf ears amongst the grown ups.
On the same day I get an email from a senior official in a government job saying “I’m beginning to think that the inherently democratic nature of social media tools is the very reason why they are being restricted or marginalised in some organisations. After all, the traditional notion of command and control is still very much alive in the dark heart of many business places – symptomatic of a deeply entrenched need for power….? I wonder what Nietzsche would have said about the new media?”
As I have said before this isn’t bottom up. It is not some workers revolution. It can make as much of a difference to middle and senior managers as it will to the folks on the shop floor. But it won’t make a difference to anyone if we just replicate the dysfunctional, inefficient mess we have now. If it isn’t disruptive why are you doing it?