I started the week in Washington DC, caught up with a community of thinkers and friends, discussing politics, naturally. One month in, and the Trump administration remains disruptive in the media, adopting a clear policy of momentum over engagement. Socially-empowered, networked strength, it remains to be seen whether the system snaps back, or whether we are seeing a true reframing of power: democratised, triangulated, evolved.


It’s parallel to the tension playing out in many organisations: the mechanisms by which we historically shared stories (formal, owned, controlled) subverted by direct and democratised channels, only in this case, it’s a deliberate attempt to recontextualise belief as fact, opinion as news. I suspect this works with your core believers, but as a type of ‘fan mail’ approach, it lacks engagement or, bluntly, humility. A willingness to learn.


President Zuckerberg

Whilst we are only at the early stages of the ensuing battle between the transnational tech giants and an anti-immigration government (which may be reframed as the early stage battle between brand religion and formal power), fascinating to see Zuckerberg framing his messianic stance for globalisation. The man who brought us our mass social connection, and is on a mission to connect the world: I wouldn’t bet against the transition to formal power, socially enabled, maybe in eight years time.



The Landscape of Trust Research Project

On Monday and Tuesday, I was working with Em in DC on the research methodology for the Landscape of Trust. This project will run throughout 2017, in three distinct phases. I’m hugely excited about it: the prototype study in the autumn of 2016 garnered some fascinating results. You can read the article on the research here. And if you want to sign up to participate, here is the link: http://eepurl.com/cBPkJf



If you can engage in teen culture for a while, it is worth observing the backlash YouTube blogger Pewdiepie (the ‘king of youtube’), is experiencing.


With the sheer scale and power he wields through his reputation based social authority, it’s almost inevitable that he trips over at some point. He has the reach of an organisation, but is an individual with highly networked power. What is really significant in this for me is how he recovers: if reputation is held in the community, the community may forgive, even if Disney won’t.


What I’m thinking about

I’ve been thinking about engagement, particularly as I’m almost in sight of the launch of the Social Leadership 100 book. Anytime that a body of work matures and takes wing is exciting. That direct feedback loop, the immediacy of response, the adrenaline rush, is hugely exciting, both as a motivator for creation and as part of #WorkingOutLoud to refine and evolve your ideas.

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Copyright © 2017 Julian Stodd, All rights reserved.

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