Keep your friends close ...

changing goals or executive mayhem
 Horia Varlan - orig image

In one of Luis Suarez recent blog post he asks a great question. My initial response to his question is in a comment on google+, but I thought it would be better to respond to his blog post with a blog post of my own. My hope is that this blog post will spark some more conversation. For Luis' full blog post, feel free to go read Luis' entire post. It really is a great post and worth the read. In Luis' blog he frames and then asks the following question:
"... Remember when perhaps 3 to 4 years ago we used to go to all of these social networking for business events and suit and ties were just missing from the equation? You could hardly see one or two in a large room. They were the outcasts, to a certain degree, and perhaps frown upon for no good, nor apparent, reason. But if felt good. It felt disruptive, provocative, heretic, even a bit rebellious of what you have been experiencing all along. Well, fast forward to today and it looks like in a good number of social business related events the suits and ties are back! Have we become a bit too formal and given up on our outrageous, heretic ways? We are no longer seeing ourselves, social business evangelists as disruptors? Have we, finally, been assimilated by the corporate world, before our job is done and completed? What do you think?"
What do I think? I have a couple of theories. I am sure others have theories. Let's hear from you. I am interested in what other people think on this topic.

My first theory is that the executives have actually decided that they like some of the ideas being proposed. But have they bought into the entire vision or just part of it? Could it be that the executives are following the old old adage, "keep you friends close, and your enemies closer". If this is true, then what executives have done is to fool the practitioner into a lull by bringing the practitioner close, keeping a close eye and providing support in some areas but squashing other initiatives. The outcome of such an activity is that the vision will never come to complete fruition and the revolution is squashed before it gets too far downstream.
My second theory is similar. The executives have bought into the plan. They believe the ideals that are set and are working with the practitioner. But in this scenario, the practitioner has become complacent, not pushing the limits because they have had success and have become more conservative in their approach. The successes have fed the practitioner into not wanting to risk losing the success by continuing to push hard. Basically, "why would I want to buck the trend? I am in line to move up in the company. I have made it,no need to continue to push."

My third theory is following a totally different path. Maybe we (the practitioners) lost track of the end goal. For me, my end goal changes every year. I am always looking for the next thing to improve collaboration, communication and mobility. Have "we" lost what the end goal is or have we just lost the collective end vision because everyone has taken the initial idea and gone in a different direction with different goals?

What reasons can you come up with on why we, as practitioners, have appeared to become complacent? Or maybe we are not complacent. What evidence do you see across the industry that proves the differing opinion?

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