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Flat world vs round world - August 11th, 2006

Posted by mindblob in Creativity, Food for thoughts, Innovation, Marketing 2.0, Media 2.0.

Round world vs flat world

(click to enlarge – illustration : David Armano)

Back to an illustration David Armano (Creative Director at Digitas) published on his site (Logic + Emotion) a few months ago.

Many big networks still carry a heavy pyramid structure. Not that this structure isn’t appropriate for business, but the question is : will the flexibility, dynamics, responsiveness of such a structure be fast enough to catch up with the reality of business 2.0?
This pyramid structure when related to producing ideas, concepts, or products has definitely proven through time that excellent results can come out of horizontal processes. But what if there was a way to speed up the process now? What if other kind of structures could move twice faster? Maybe there is a way to avoid blocking good ideas in structural/hierarchy processes? Maybe there is a way to consider every idea proposed for a project no matter who is the sender (T-shape thinking). And finally, maybe there is a way to test ideas before they are launched and so fine tune to be right on target with optimum accuracy (like in “flat world”).
One fact is that there are lots of small businesses and advertising agencies already working in “flat world” position. Why? Because people (understand : customers!) are already into sharing ideas with others that way and so, building new paths of creativity (using tools provided by web 2.0). Even people focussing on brand building come to the T-shaped creativity/thinking.

So, what should big pyramidal structures do? Re-shape the structure? Uuuuh! Heavy and time consuming, right! Well, I think there are ways around this. But of course, pushing members of a huge structure into something they are not (yet) convinced in is the most complicated thing of all. People fear change, it’s a fact… Besides the good reasons to do it, changing the day-to-day routines is complicated. Nevertheless, if everything around you is “changing” the message becomes obvious : “open your eyes and look around!”.

Those who tried to communicate on a worldwide scale, via Internet blogs know it. Passionate and convinced people drag audiences no matter their title, CV or experience. If the message they deliver is interesting, they roll and they roll big. Idea : if there are such people within the big pyramid (and there must be!) they should be identified and considered in a new and different way. They could spread the news and convince internally as well as externally.

Suggesting maybe to regroup these “elements” into an “R&D” trend department, some sort of “creative booster”, or “media 2.0 architects”.