Part 3 or the transformation article focused on differentiation.

Part 4 looks at societal change.

A Closer Look at Transformation – Part 4

The next focus area in this closer look at transformation is the fifth and perhaps most critical forcing function: societal change. Wikipedia refers to societal change as an alteration in the social order of a society, including changes in naturesocial institutionssocial behaviors, or social relations. The base of such change is change in the thought process of humans. Digital is the primary driver of a societal change not seen since the first industrial revolution, impacting every aspect of society from business to war. It was digital (Internet) that accelerated globalization, and now the broader digital platform allows even a start-up to be global upon inception.

We’ve seen the collapse of dictatorships enabled by social networking, the birth of a generation that only knows digital, and a fundamental shift in power from business to consumer. Some of the primary drivers of this forcing function are:

  • Ubiquitous connectivity
  • Social Media
  • A sharing-barter economy as it redefines the buyer-seller relationship
  • Mobile computing
  • Four generations of workers in our workforce
  • Digital-savvy millennial’s and technology savvy employees
  • Perpetual freelancers
  • Power shifting to individuals via connectedness, openness, transparency and information access

It all starts with being connected, and never before has a communication medium been adopted as quickly or as widely as social media. We’ve all seen the numbers associated with Facebook, Twitter and others, but those numbers distract us from the true impact that social will ultimately have. This impact will be felt on two levels, as social shifts to the business world (social business as many call it), and at the same times drives more societal change by moving to its next phase. The next phase of social has been called the collaborative or sharing economy. This collaborative economy leads to potential revenue loss, as customers share products and services with each other. The impact reaches beyond the private sector, as bartering could have significant impact on Government tax revenues. You can read more about the evolution of social in this Altimeter report titled The Collaborative Economy.

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