The hardest part of disruption is disrupting yourself – R Ray Wang.
As the Industrial revolution changed society and new communication technologies were born, the western world experienced an age of revolution. Manifestos flew from the printers as advocates for changes in society sought to draw people to their causes and changes to society and economic activity. The passion for manifestos quietened after the shocks of two world wars. By then massive change had occurred to the level of social support, to the structure of the economy and to the power of social classes. Society had adjusted to new social models that mitigated (or in the case of totalitarian states suppressed) issues of the prior disruptions, our corporate business models were relatively static and a long boom drove western and global economies.
A new age of manifestos
We could be entering a new age of manifestos. With new communication technologies, disruption to traditional corporate models and the economic activity, change is required but we are not yet clear on what that change means. In recent weeks we have seen
- The Responsive Organisation manifesto
- The Work Revolution manifesto
- increased discussion of Holocracy:
- other new movements (like Change Agents Worldwide, Social Enterprise, New Economy, Social Value, etc) are growing, and
- hundreds of conferences blog posts and other papers on disruption, the future or work and social issues arising from disruption
The new manifesto is personal
If we learn one thing from that last age of manifestos, it should be that nobody should surrender themselves unthinking to a cause. The quote above captures the challenge of this new adaptive age. We need to disrupt ourselves as much as we need to disrupt the organisations, economies and societies we make up.
So what is your manifesto? Your changes are unique. You have a unique purpose. The changes you will drive will need to be social but before you join a movement be clear on what you want to see done. Make sure you are shaping the movement to your causes.
Take some time to reflect but start to write down your own personal manifesto. Feel free to beg, borrow and steal. Practice your new manifesto. Live your new disrupted self.
Adapt and change your manifesto as you learn from the work. Adaptation is not just a challenge for organisations it is a personal challenge. Will you have the capabilities required for the future of work? Will your role and your passions survive the changes ahead? You won’t know unless you adapt, experiment and change yourself.
The more you live your manifesto the clearer it will be, the more power it will have and the better guide it will be for others.
Start today. Others are waiting to see your contribution to the new age of manifestos.