Remember the movie Pleasantville? Well Jon Husband does and he happens to think its a great example of how the Internet has changed business. But instead of two kids being the ones who stirr things up in a complacent orderly black and white world, it’s the Internet.
The business world used to be very black and white, or as Jon referred to it, vertical. Well then the Internet came along and it started to become horizontal. We started to get some colour in the big picture. In fact, we started seeing the true colours of organizations and customers revealed through their online interaction. Everything became more accessible, and companies were forced into becoming much more transparent, whether they wanted to or not.
A lot of this is because of he shift from Hierarchy to Wirearchy (a term coined by Husband himself). Essentially it describes how companies are starting to veer away from strict hierarchical models of management. One major reason for this is people inherently seek info from other people, not impersonal sources.
The moral of the story? Well as Jon put it, “your brand is what google says it is.”
We had the web, and now we have web 2.0. Jon Husband predicts just like the web, businesses are going through some evolutionary changes. He also made sure he sent everyone off with the clear message that this is not another buzzword to him.
Large corporations are trying to emulate the swift moving, fast thinking and innovative environments that successful SME’s have. But most haven’t done so effectively. Jon predicts that in 10-15 years this may change as the majority of large corporations will move away from strict hierarchical structures and operate in much more flexible open environment. Similar to start ups and small-medium businesses.
Jon was also quick to point out that he’s not suggesting you never use a traditional Hierchy, just be willing to step away from it. Even if only for a moment. Good managers and CEO’s will understand when to swtich between the two and why, which he linked directly to one final tip where he said, “do not rely on analytics and numbers alone when making a decision – it’s the people, stupid.”