“Letting things happen is so often not a marketing objective. The battleground for business and marketing power is often intent on developing brokerage as a means of cultivating dependency and seeking control over people’s minds, using direct or indirect commands to ‘like us!’ and the ease and convenience of zombification strategies designed to nudge and dilute free will.Decode marketing speak and very often consumer choice often is the elephant in the room, the thing that technology applied to marketing and advertising can obliterate because it’s too random.With so much invested in the way we do things, marketers often assume it’s easier to change the nature of the consumer than the nature of the business model.Yet the skill and the insight involved in letting things happen is like that of a good sailor with their hand on the tiller, and the metaphor for social businesses as a means of cocreated and generative value can be a boat where people are in it together. Social businesses where people connect because they want to are essentially an odyssey towards value created out of a common purpose, need or desire.It puts problem solving, not profiteering, at the heart of the corporate intention. That kind of interaction between people is the warp and the weft of healthy social fabric for a distributed, networked age.Contrast that with what we are seeing revealed as ‘wounded people and wounded organisations’, as Anne-Marie put it over lunch. We’re seeing networked opportunities blocked by obedient gatekeepers only trying to do their job and organisations stuck in vicious repeat loops confined by their own protocols. When the risk of breaking out of ‘the way we do things around here’ is regarded as culturally and operationally too disruptive, what happens it that emergence becomes emergency and business models become calcified.”
- Anne McCrossan, Social business, social fabric and the healing mesh
I’m an advocate of ‘letting things happen’, but also of a less collectivist bent. I don’t think people need to operate as if they are ‘all in it together’ except in the most general sense of working together. In fact, I think the premises of collective work — defined processes, unbreakable rules, and enforced shared strategies — need to be displaced by connective thinking, a shift to relying on network physics, and loosened to open up much greater autonomy.