Social Leverage Points :: Blog :: Headshift
It’s an explanation – crystal clear, and from the point of view of systems theory – about what leverage points are, and how they can be used to influence systems. And it’s a paper that should be compulsory reading for anyone in any kind of a position of power – and preferably tattooed on the inside of politicians’ eyelids.
Reading through it, I got to wondering about which of the 12 leverage points described social media would fall into. The basic concept is that small shifts in one thing can produce big changes in everything – and we often use the terminology of small, incremental changes in behaviour when talking about social media.
The point here is that the more rapid the feedback, the more effective at reducing oscillations.
Where social media fits in is surfacing that information. Very often, key information is buried, whether it’s in emails, spreadsheets, report documents and so on.
Now we social media types have to be careful here – it’s very easy to make grandiose claims about the ability of social tools to change the world, and the reality is that their effect is often less than we’d like them to be.
Small-scale social tools – small pieces, loosely joined – can react far quicker and far more flexibly. Rather than trying to bend content into an organisational taxonomy, an emergent tagging structure will adapt to the material rather than the other way around.
Intangibles Mismanagement and the Current Crisis
As we end this tumultuous week, I have a few thoughts on the relationship between intangibles management and the current crisis.
How bad intangibles management got us into this mess€¦
A financial company’s principal intangible assets are its people, its management, its processes, its brand and its customers. While all of these are important and none can be understood in isolation, process deserves special attention in this case. Processes are the way that a company institutionalizes its collective knowledge and experience. The unique processes of a financial company include those for processing transactions and managing risk.
Most businesspeople continue to focus on financial analysis. If the balance sheet and income statement look good, the reasoning goes, we should be in good shape. But financial results are about the past. The future comes from those intangible assets I mentioned earlier: people, management, processes, brand and customers. In this crisis, bad management and bad process pulled down the brand, the financials and, in some cases, the whole company.
How will American businesses find their way out of this mess? It certainly won’t be by building factories or new machines. The answer will come from the use of technology and knowledge-those same intangible assets (people, management, processes, brand and customers) can and will be leveraged to improve existing businesses and create new ones.
The successful companies will re-tool themselves. They will learn that intellectual capital is the new factory. That factory is filled with technology-enabled business processes that leverage the brilliance of their people and their customers. They will see their businesses as networks that bring together the best resources inside and outside their corporate walls. They will find new ways to measure, manage and monetize their intangibles. They will know that good intangibles management will lead to innovation and growth.