The world of business as usual and work as we know it, has changed for ever. The change didn’t happen yesterday, it happened a long time ago. Collaboration and innovation are not new of course however, the modern business is more global, less hierarchical than ever before. The impact of digital and social networks, impact on the way we work in ways unimaginable to any of us 10 years ago.

So what does this mean? It means we need to re think how we manage our organisations and place real importance firstly, understanding what innovation is, embracing collaboration with open arms and focusing on 3 core skills needed to manage in the brave new world. They look like this:

1. THE RISE AND EMBRACE OF DIGITAL INFLUENCE

6.2 events recently hosted a forum discussion on Funding Creativity with IndieGoGo in Sydney. The talk  targeted entrepreneurs and creatives interested in the topic of crowd funding. We released the ticket site and with the delivery of a single tweet and an email, we had sold out of tickets within 3 hours. This was a great result for us, 3 years ago, the process would have incorporated various channels to create trust, awareness and value in the  proposition. Free or not.

Most managers today know how to use online networks. I question whether they see them all as valuable. We know they are great for building and staying connected to networks, especially when looking for a new job (think of that last LinkedIn invite from the former ceo perhaps, good chance he is looking).

We don’t have to be tech experts to understand how these networks can build influence for people and businesses. I’m not sure this is fully understood by management teams. As work becomes less about hierarchy, and more about collaboration, managers in the future will have to have a complete understanding of twitter, FB, LinkedIn, blogging and other online networks on how they can build influence.

In our brave new world, the people who understand how to drive influence through online networks, already  know that online networks are based on reputation, specialisation and network awareness. Become good at this now and raise the value of your role in managing your shared future tomorrow.

2. THE REMOVAL OF CULTURAL AND INTERNATIONAL BOUNDARIES

Imagine a global meeting of the worlds leaders, only this time, the worlds leaders are the people managing our global cities. Sydney, Hong Kong, New York, Dubai, Athens, London. A world where cities drive decisions for a shared future, not nations. As the world population increase at a rate faster than ever before, more and more of us are moving to our global cities. Nader Mousavizadeh imagines a future where global councils of political and economic power reflect this shift. Nader talks about bringing together people, capital, ideas of unprecedented diversity. 40 urban mega regions are estimated to hold 18% of the worlds population and generates 66% of the worlds economic activity and 85% of the scientific and technological innovation.

In 1800, 3% of the world called an urban sprawl home, that jumped to 30% in 1950 and today, more than 50% live in urban areas and there are no signs of that slowing down. Nader states, “Cities rather than nation states are the imagined communities that define our modern existence”.

This has enormous impacts on the way we work too. Global business is becoming more frequent regardless the size of the organisation. 6.2 works with clients in 4 countries with staff in 2 and contributors in 4. This is all made manageable through the evolution of technology. This trend will continue and as a result, managers and leaders will need to more and more culturally fluent and aware with an embrace that differing cultures are in fact the norm in the brave new world. Manager will need to feel comfortable in managing this.

Being able to master cultural code switching and understanding will pay an important role in the modern manager.

3. THE GREAT ATTENTION DIVIDE

At a recent conference, I had the amazing opportunity to present to the audience on the rethinking creativity and innovation. It was a small audience of close to 100 people in a great venue. The audience was predominantly Gen-Y (whom I love speaking too more than any other). Half way through my 30 minute keynote, I noticed the majority of the room with their heads down, iPhones in hand playing on their phones, lap tops or ipad. Three years ago I could have  mistaken this as boredom and questioned my ability to entertain (not engage – thank you David) my audience. Thankfully, my audience were tweeting, providing real-time updates to the world. The good bits and the bad bits. Of course, this provides real-time feedback to me too and creates a social element to the evening, binding the audience together in a unified  approach to listening, and digesting my (or anyones) discussion.

As Twitter, FB, Email, Blogs, StumbleUpon, Pinterest and Skype consume our day, should we be concerned at the dividing attention these networks bring, or should we embrace the young leaders and innovators who can embrace them? I encourage everyone who can create balance through the noise.

According to Melbourne university, research indicates that people who use the internet at work for personal reasons, assume it makes them less productive. In fact, research indicated  increased productivity by 9%. For those who let there minds wander, a break to surf the web (or stare into space) is seen as a cognitive refresher and improves performance. It is called WILB… short for “workplace internet leisure browsing” and that is a real term.

In this brave new world multitasking will take form not as a problem or something we need to adjust too, but as a specific skill that will involve the complete overhaul of our attention.

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