Old folks and shiny things

It’s easy to get carried away with enthusiasm for the new, for increased possibilities and for the excitement of change. The Internet allows us to pursue the latest shiny thing with ease and alacrity and to then feel ahead of the crowd when we’ve “got it” and they haven’t.

It is also easy, when you have been doing the same thing for many years, have become expert in it, and have risen to the top of your organisation, to assume that you know it all. Slowing things down and not responding to the latest fad is what you are good at, it’s why you are there, it’s what they pay you for.

These two worlds are bumping up against each other more and more. Kirsty Wark and Glen Greenwald or Jeremy Paxman and Russell Brand are just the more visible manifestations of it. Similar contrasts are becoming more common in an organisation near you.

Making these contrasts more extreme than they need to be doesn’t help. This is why I have been wary of the overselling of “social media” and “social business” and prefer the longer term, less dogmatic approach of Trojan Mice.

Senior folks have seen technology hucksterism too many times before to fall for hard sell, but equally more and more of them area becoming aware that, partly thanks to the internet, things are changing as never before. They know that they need to get their heads around what is happening – even if they decide that active engagement in it isn’t right for them or their organisations.

If you know of anyone who would benefit from a chat with a grey haired old man about what this stuff means to them and their organisation – you know where to find me…

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