Sunday, November 6, 2011

Open Revolution #5 - Continuing to Unfold

Collaboration, 'Open' Solutions, and Innovation are key strategies for creating a better future.

I started writing about the 'Open Revolution' over 6 months ago as we saw people step up, speak out, and start to overthrow existing leaders, political systems, and oppressive hierarchies in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and other countries. That includes America. Look around at the Tea Party and the Occupy Wall Street movements and you can see people stepping up, speaking out, and beginning to take action. But I also tried to make it clear that this was not just about political change, but about changing business practices and cultural change as we continue our transition from the Industrial Age into the Information Age and the 21st century.

In this blog, though, I want to take a few minutes to raise and briefly address some key questions.  For example: Why are people mad? What are they mad about? And, what do they want? We have a pretty good idea what the answers are to these questions, but they haven't been clearly articulated yet, for various reasons. Partly because acknowledged leaders of this growing movement have not yet emerged. But those who are not taking what's happening seriously had best not belittle what is happening.

People seem to be mad about not being heard. The political system seems to be responding to big business and their lobbyists – not the people. Major corporations are not paying their fair share of taxes, have helped fund politicians to put loopholes into the tax system for these corporations and to siphon off tax dollars to add to their coffers. At the same time, the political and business leaders are lining their pockets with gold – earning millions of dollars in salaries and benefits as workers struggle to survive. There is some very real social and financial injustice and inequality that has outraged the people.

The message is becoming clear. Take heed! The people have woken up and are starting to take on 'big business' and corruption in our political and judicial systems. Lobbying needs to be curtailed. Large corporations and rich individuals should not be able to so blatantly buy off politicians and corrupt our representative government. The size, power, and influence of large corporations needs to be limited. Closing loopholes and raising taxes on large corporations and the rich may not be what some politicians want, but keep in mind that's because it's where they get their funding to remain in power. People are not happy with the blatant attacks on collective bargaining by teachers, the police, firemen, and other hard working folks that can't get a fair deal any other way. Liberals and conservatives have very similar concerns.

Many leaders in the public and private sector don't quite realize the power of the 'Open Revolution' taking place all around them. The growing web of collaborative open communities, of open access to information and knowledge that people can readily access, of social media and other innovations of the Information Age that are transforming our culture and will result in a shift in the balance of power back to individuals, to the people.  I'm sure I will be writing more about this as the impact of the 'Open Revolution' continues to be felt and progresses. Fortunately, I see a lot of potential good coming out of this for America.

What do you think? Share your thoughts about what is happening all around us. Is this going to ultimately be good for America?

* See excellent related article on Three Major Forces Disrupting Management & Society 

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