Help needed: Diplomats and ambassadors. Bridge-people. Those who can move between analogue and digital, between old ways and new ways, across misconceptions about, and resistance to, change.
This is where “change agents” ask our organizations to do things differently.
It’s not always an easy road.
Digital development varies across different organizations. Some groups are quite advanced as publishers in their own right, producing great web content, audio and video learning materials and more – on a regular, ongoing basis.
Other organizations are struggling to get digital things done in workplaces that aren’t as aligned as they could be.
There’s this sense that we can be doing more.
Let’s do more. Let’s help our organizations have more productive discussions around the social nature of digital.
When it comes to progressive organizations, it’s tricky terrain. Many of us have been under attack for so long, and fighting defensive battles for so long, that sometimes we can’t see how to move forward in truly innovative ways.
Plus, sadly, we’ve become too top-down, and rigid, and trapped in outdated modes of structuring ourselves. We’re caught in these industrial management silos that defy the new connectivity – to our peril, and to that of the causes we advocate for.
So, those looking to open the conversation about digital (or about other vital topics) face a return to our best values – like respect, solidarity and inclusion – and they rise to the occasion, sharing their learning about the new storytelling, the new connectivity, the new possibilities.
Let’s open towards the possibilities that digital brings us, not foreclose on trying new things because of turf or precedent or internal organizational politics.
We all own this turf. Digital tools give everyone unprecedented ability to express, connect and grow. What new gardens will bloom?
New growth and power is ours for the taking – and the talking. And as we all know, the best conversations allow for different points of view, even divergent ones.
These conversations will unfold differently in different groups. Some groups have reasonably functional conversational cultures, some don’t. Whatever your organization’s culture, or level of digital development, chances are an open conversation about this new reality will serve you well.
Of course, change is not about luck. There’s a saying about change – that we can be the change, or be changed by it. The worlds needs nonprofit voices to be the change, to model new ways of collaborating and cooperating. If not us, then who?
The world needs all kinds of leaders and different kinds of leadership. It’s up to workers (and managers) to help our groups grow the capacity, the skills and the culture that serves the work, honours our members and strengthens our communities.
Let’s see what develops as we open the conversation.