Is Attitude the Name of your Game?
A major consequence of the Digital Revolution is the growing divide between those stuck in an analogue mindset, and those who have embraced digital wholeheartedly; the Digital Generation, regardless of chronological ageing. Our Digital Age marks a shift in human history, away from the Industrial Revolution, traditional industry, to an economy based on information, technology, and knowledge.
Our knowledge-based society is completely surrounded by a digitized high-tech global economy spanning its influence over consumer and service sectors, to create function in an efficient, effective, and convenient manner. Convenience though, has developed demand for a higher performance culture, the precedent of which has never been seen before. High performance culture demands now technology. Now technology is part of a now society, a growing society; and keeping up, necessarily part of the evolution.
Cultural evolution of mankind, as argued by Kantor (1933), is dependent on cultural unity. Universal cultural unity depends on: social organization, technology, art, religion, law, customs and manners, language, and intellectual equipment for civility. Evolution of civilization therefore requires certain behavioural steps which are examined with the theory of unilinear cultural evolution. Civilized behavioural elements are widely distributed over large civilizational areas and dispersion is offered through two opposing theoretical perspectives. Diffusion theory postulates that there are ultimate differences in mental capacity between different people, shaping societal behaviour, whereas the convergenists postulate a psychic unity, or collective mind controlling social normative behaviour.
Perhaps the assumption that mentality is the same globally, also assumes that all people are capable of inventing things, equally. Global civilization therefore is believed to be the process of equal distribution via original dispersion, original development, or interrelationships globally. Global acknowledgement of the nature and development of groups for civilization, and the probability that a tremendously large number of factors cooperate in the production of a particular kind of civilization outcome, must also be considered.
Does Kantor’s theory of cultural unity and evolution of civilization apply to global digitization?
Although historically civilization’s rise and decline, with superiorities and inferiorities are acknowledged through opposing theories concerning the relation of humans and civilization or society. According to one theory, mind is the all-powerful factor in human affairs; and is a directive agent for all that happens, such as the creator or god affect. Reasoning, therefore that people create the elements in civilization; and civilization is therefore considered dependent upon the people. While the opposing traditional perspective that social destiny influences human affairs generally; the individual, no matter who he or she is, is carried by a stream which no man can control or stop, such is indicative of “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans (Lennon, 1984)” (Kantor,1933).
Arguably, global digitization assumes both theoretical postulations: firstly, digitization has been created by man; and secondly, as a social intervention digitization of society changed social structure and consequent social destiny; giving rise to a cultural evolution that is carrying a whole global civilization on a stream of unilinear cultural evolution.
What does this mean for those who fail to keep up with digitization? Extinction?
What does this mean for entire groups, such as Companies, Organizations, and Corporations; who fail to keep up?
And is the possibility of the unthinkable, mass extinction, possible?
Consider Company’s, Organization’s, or Corporation’s that have specific needs apparent to those business goals, vision, and mission it conducts. Specific to her people, place, and situation, the business needs demand and shape the required behaviour and consequent culture required for business efficiency. A business’ normed culture that fits with other designates is good business. Good business partners adapt, change and flex to the expectations of others; because failure to do so means loss of business.
Surely this creates the argument for digitization, in itself; business has to fit the needs of other businesses; in order to-do-business. Otherwise the business can be considered outlier, and as such shapes a society different from the larger global digitized civilization.
While civilizations are considered dependent on people; Corporations in their entire similarity are also dependent on people. Therefore reasoning that people are important elements of civilization, and civilization is dependent on people; we must also reason that people are important elements of Corporations.
While Kantor argues that people are important elements, and the theoretical argument that the mind is the all-powerful factor in human affairs; and that the mind is a directive agent for all that happens; and the traditional perspective that people create the elements of civilisation, and social destiny influences people matters; then the question poses itself, are the people the creators of the very life stream which no man can stop or control?
Global digitization therefore, we argue assumes both theoretical postulations: firstly, digitization has been created by man; and secondly, as a social intervention digitization has changed civilizations social structure, giving rise to a cultural evolution of unilinear global mass proportions assuming the creator or godly effect.
Can the consequences of such godly effects assumedly mean control of the monopolisation of digitization? He who holds the reins, holds the game? And he who holds the game holds the future of mankind in the palm of his hand?
Let’s examine the game as an analogy of the popular board game Monopoly. Everyone knows the Monopoly game ends when players can no longer afford to make payments to the person in possession of all the assets, and all the money [the monopoliser]. However, let’s postulate for a moment that the monopoliser still wants to play. How can the game continue, if only one person has all the wealth?
Would the monopoliser be in the position of changing the rules of the game? Or would that simply be to the monopolisers’ advantage?
Would the bankrupted players be in the position of changing the rules of the game? After all the game can’t continue without them, can it?
How might the game continue?
Of course theoretically, the bankrupted players have more bargaining power than initially realised. One solution is the bankrupted players can pool financial resources; and play one-on-one. Secondly, the game continues using a different economy. Thirdly bankrupted players collaborate using the understanding of the monopolisers’ motivations as a bargaining tool.
In the real world, it might seem obvious that the rise of this new power position is all about the explosion in technology; as well as the ever more essential role digital plays in consumers’ lives. But organizational experts and research indicate growing tensions in the C-suite and board room are also driving the trend upward for solutions.
For fast-growing companies, the Chief Digital Officer [CDO] is emerging as the new “it” position, with Chief Marketing Officers [CMOs] and Chief Intelligence Officers [CIOs] clash more frequently about questions of turf, innovation, and accountability. Is the CDO therefore, the game changer of the Corporate digital revolution? Who can keep their organization changing with change; in fluid motion?
Imagine then what it might be worth to a company to find a CDO who can not only re-write the rules of the game, but can develop others?
Imagine a CDO who can grow business, strengthen Brands, re-invent the market; all while tying their shoelaces [pun]; predict trends with precision accuracy, nurture people, and creating strategy to move an entire organization toward record year, after year in a 360 turn-around of consumer experience; giving the market what it wants before it even knows itself.
Does this sound too good to be true? Leveraging not only digital function, but digital behavioural competency as a means of cutting edge excellence; the CDO who can engage, shape and mould her workforce from strategy to infrastructure aligning the right behavioural competency’s and capability will change the world, right?
But how many companies want to grow exponentially overnight? And how many companies have the capacity to grow exponentially overnight?
Knowledge to grow a company exponentially overnight though, must require more capability then merely the merging of CMO and CIO roles; surely? And yet the career path of a CDO is fast-tracking the CEO role in traditional take-over style. But the style of the three Fs – fluidity, flexibility and free thinking requires stamina, politics, business knowledge, and exemplary people skills, wouldn’t you think? Not simply marketing techno-babble!
But isn’t management, simply management? And how does a fantastic CEO handle pressure?
Recently released seven year research indicates the number one coping competency that delineates the CDO from the CEO role is attitude. Attitude will make or break any organization, but an attitude that stays flexible even in the light of the darkest hour is gold.
As a commodity and an economy, would it be permissible to acknowledge the new game currency keeping our bankrupted players in the Monopoly game; be attitude? And would it be permissible to acknowledge that attitude is the very quality that delineates Kantor’s theoretical divide; between mind being the all-powerful factor in human affairs, and being a directive agent for all that happens? Consequently reasoning that attitude is the fundamental element of civilization, and corporation that carries all humans on the stream which no man can control or stop, Life.
Therefore common sense must prevail that a cross-functional attitudinal intervention that straddles both analogue and digital worlds and leads corporations out of the doldrums of past endeavours not only creates a bridge across uncertainty that appears nothing short of a miracle of mass proportions, but is the new economical currency that keeps players in the game.
Ms Kylie Prince is a D.i.g.i.t.a.l. expert and Senior Consultant with the Eastern Consulting Group, Melbourne, Australia. ECG is an independent consultancy, Building Business with People! Kylie specialises in Dynamic Digital People Solutions. You can connect with Kylie by email email@example.com or mobile +61 4 3248 5427 or on LinkedIn Social Media site..