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Change Ahead - Applying Egypt’s Revolution to Your Organization

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Fri, Apr 29, 2011

Are there any implications your business can learn from the Egyptian Revolution?  describe the imageMultipliers co author Greg McKeown predicts events like this and the Libyan revolution may foreshadow undercurrents that will impact your business.   As we’ve noted in this blog before the two most critical elements of leadership are the ability to predict and delegate.   Just like Scrooge in Dickens Christmas Carol these events may foresee what’s ahead for business.

McKeown noted the Egyptian revolution was unique because it was decentralized.  No one predicted its coming.  No single opposition was pursuing change, rather it was a grass roots uprising.  As one of the Cell phone company owners noted in our Four Decisions Workshop, mobile phone communication played a major role in the pace and speed of events.  In the world today, everyone can communicate with everyone. 

The established hierarchy and inherited systems of the past are in jeopardy.  McKeown sees a significant shift in how business will be conducted from a design point and organizational level.  Just as monarchy is a relic [the Royal Wedding not withstanding], so will how business looks in the future.  

McKeown’s presentation The Last Monarchy: The Inevitable Fall of Hierarchy and the Birth of the Intelligent Organization provides much more in depth insight into these changes then I can in this blog.  If you’re interested in understanding the changes coming I urge you to watch it. [It's about 60 Minutes]

Consider these forces:  


Egypt’s Revolution

Applying Egypt’s Revolutions to Organizations

1. Social Media

Dubbed the first Revolution 2.0 with no centrally planned opposition.

Ubiquitous horizontal communication care of smart(er) devices and social media. 

2. Demographics

The younger generation is just entering the workforce.

Baby boomers are due to retire in 2011-2012.  Millennials are just entering management. 

3. Economic Pressures

High unemployment.  The pressure to compete globally at a time of global downturn. 

Downturn creating a business imperative to access the full capability in people everywhere. 

4. Free Will

A need and right has been suppressed and stifled for generations. 

Talent tsunami may just be around the corner. 


Let’s look at each of these briefly.  

  • Social Media.  Certainly we’ve all experienced how this has changed business and communication.   Whether it’s your customers or your employees, events are transmitted immediately and reaction time is critical to either take advantage or prevent catastrophes from rupturing.
  • Demographics.  Gen Y, Gen X, Boomers we all know stats and facts about these and now millennials.  Be aware and make sure your business is factoring in these new values to hire, retain and grow.
  • Economic Pressures.  Not since the great depression has there been pressure to get more from the people and resources in our business.  The companies that have gained greater productivity are now in position to thrive.  Books like Multipliers, First Break All the Rules, Bringing Out the Best in  People, Topgrading are critical to meeting this pressure to get your people performing at full potential. 
  • Free Will.  Economic pressures have forced some employees to possibly stay longer in positions than they might have otherwise.  McKeown feels this may have created a back log of dissatisfied people who because their opinions are not being heard, or feel they are being taken for granted, will decide to leave and seek employment with businesses that recognize the new operational forces at work,  cater to this new organizational hierarchy, and the manager role defined “to create systems where people can manage themselves.

What can your organization do to make sure it’s functioning with a high degree of consciousness for these changing implications?  We’ll discuss this next blog as we look at the impact Strategic Discipline provides to stay ahead of changing trends.   

Topics: Bringing Out the Best In People, change, Topgrading, Multipliers

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