Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Era of the Global Individual

I have written about the 'Global Individual' several times before, but it keeps coming back to me in stronger waves.

In all my work,to help organizations better capture, create, share and apply knowledge to achieve business objectives, I continually see the rapidly increasing empowerment of the individual as the most potent force to bring about the paradigm shift from separate knowledge entities and individuals, to collective knowledge entities in teams, organizations and communities.

Mobile technologies like smart phones, iPads, camcorders and audio recorders are, of course, extensions to our eyes, ears and voices. When connected to the global internet and the world wide web of browsers, contextual search engines, hyperlinked documents, and information resources, it extends our capacities beyond our wildest imagination. Social networking tools that enable us to build web profiles, like facebook, Web 2.0 communication and collaboration tools like tweets, blogs and wiki's enable us to have swirling and swarming global conversations and build new knowledge together.

We have evolved from separated tribal individuals with very little, and very slow, knowledge transfer beyond our immediate village communities, just several hundred years ago, to highly connected global individuals with very fast knowledge transfer,potentially to anybody on the planet.

The implications of being a global individual are just starting to emerge. This is simply massive empowerment.

None of us know the full implications of this, other than it will be simply huge change, and hopefully it will be a positive disruption across our established ways of living and working.

Most importantly for me to consider is that the global individual will be empowered and working with global networks, communities, organizations and teams with new global tools to capture, create, share and apply global knowledge.

And along with this comes the need for 'total transparency'. This may delight you or horrify you.

For example, I know people who are trying to keep their business persona separate from their private persona to family and friends. I actually think this is understandable, but futile. To me, it is simply inevitable that we will soon all become totally transparent global individuals.

In return, we will all gain much richer and much deeper insights of one another. Another major step towards better understanding one another.

What do you think about this? Does this delight or horrify you?

Ron Young

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