close
Search:
"Who can think without horror of what another widespread war would mean, waged as it would be with all the new weapons of mass destruction."

Archbishop of Canterbury Cosmo Gordon Lang, December, 1937 London Times newspaper

The aforementioned line is recognized as the first known use of the term 'weapons of mass destruction'. But today, in 2013, I want to discuss a new weapon -- a weapon of class destruction -- and that weapon is social.happiness Let's first define what I mean by 'class'. I'd like the term class in my social as a weapon of class destruction thesis to denote two things for purposes of this piece:
  • societal & organizational status
  • the physical place we go to learn
In society (and in our organizations) there remains both a visible and at times invisible ranking system of class. In society in general, we judge those with more money and with less money. We analyze people's socioeconomic status including where they live, what type of work they perform, and even their title at work itself. Sociologists define the theory 'social stratification' as Peter Saunders does in his 1990 book, "Social Class and Stratification". Harold Jarche recently wrote "The Social Imperative" where he states:
"Better social relationships (non-hierarchical and not based on dominance of others) can make for healthier populations. In addition, they are the only way our collective intelligence can adapt to increasing complexity. Becoming more social is not just a new business driver but also a societal imperative."
Social as a weapon of class destruction can help us not only demystify the social stratification that manifests in society, it can assist and perhaps mitigate a culture of fear that rests in many organizations today. This culture of fear is often as a result of hierarchical systems (a hierarchy for the sake of hierarchy) and managers who breed fear as opposed to disrupting the system and encouraging openness, collaboration and, well ... being social. By being social (both the in-person face-to-face kind and through the use of collaboration tools) we will find not only healthier populations but healthier organizations. At SAS, they have "The Hub" and at TELUS (where I'm currently employed) we recently improved our existing social collaboration experience by launching "TeamHub". (I'll write about this later) After four weeks, over 6,000 people are already on TeamHub (and specifically cloud-based Jam) utilizing the platform for connecting, collaborating, learning and sharing. In each case, using social as a weapon of class destruction actually unites the organization, whilst equally breaking down silos and 'hierarchy for the sake of hierarchy.' With this new weapon, we can break down the hierarchical status symbol in our organizations and introduce what Ronald Burt refers to as 'near peers' "through whom opinion and behavior spreads through connections turn out to be network brokers". Social can break down the class structure into a network of knowledge and innovation brokers. And if our new weapon is breaking down the hierarchy it might as well break down the belief that all learning must occur (or does occur) in a class(room). It doesn't. Charles Jennings wants us to consider 'experience rich continuous learning' where he says, "by supporting and encouraging learning within the workflow, and through and with others, a culture of continuous learning will evolve." It can. The use of social as a weapon to annihilate any class(room) based learning is missing the point and therefore misguided. That stated, when social is used as a weapon of class destruction we're referring to those that believe learning only occurs in a class(room). We must compliment any class based learning opportunity with social, be it pre and/or post class learning with the use of social behaviours and of course social collaboration tools. For extra credit you will utilize social tools during the class event itself. In summary, you may take umbrage with my use of the term social as a weapon. There probably isn't a more friendlier term on the planet than social, so why am I turning it into a weapon? I'll tell you why. Our organizations are still stuck with the ideology that those with fancier titles know more, can do more, and therefore get paid more to tell us what to do more. That's why life happiness scores are flat and that's why employee engagement levels remain unchanged (and at alarmingly low levels) for the past 15 years. It's why Global Silicon Valley (GSV) Advisors predict global corporate classroom based learning expenditure will increase from $356b in 2012 to $524b in 2017; we're stuck thinking class(room) based learning is the only (and perhaps best) way in which to learn. That's why we need social as a weapon of class destruction.
WORK-LIFE BLOOM

PERSONAL ASSESSMENT

Find out if you’re currently blooming, budding, stunted or in need of renewal through the Work-Life Bloom Personal Assessment.

START ASSESSMENT  

Testimonials

  • Dan is a conference organizer’s ideal speaker. Not only did he inspire and energize our group, but he also masterfully adapted his content so it resonated with the audience and our conference theme. As a bonus, Dan is able to nimbly navigate to adjust to a reduced time slot when other speakers went over time without sacrificing the impact of his session.

    Director and General Counsel
  • Dan accomplished what we set out to do, which was not only to be inspirational, but also to leave everyone with tools and food for thought / self-reflection to improve their personal and professional lives.

    Hermann Handa, FCT
  • Dan challenged us to have clarity of purpose, both as individuals and as an organization. He related inspiring stories drawing on his experience in business, technology and academia. As he said, ‘There is no ownership without belonging.’

    Christian Pantel, D2L
  • Dan Pontefract suggests leaders must be transformational and transactional, collaborative and considerate, daring and decisive, inclusive and insistent, playful and formal, harmonious, and humble, encouraging and results-driven. In a word, Flat.

    Robert Morris
    “How to strengthen engagement, empowerment, and execution, then leverage them for a decisive competitive advantage”

Media Appearances

sidebar hashtag menu home office pencil images camera headphones music video-camera bullhorn connection mic book books file-empty files-empty folder folder-open price-tag barcode qrcode cart coin-dollar coin-euro mobile user users user-plus user-minus key lock unlocked glass mug spoon-knife fire bin switch cloud-download cloud-upload bookmark star-empty star-half star-full play pause stop backward forward first last previous next eject volume-high volume-medium volume-low volume-mute amazon google whatsapp twitter dribbble behance behance-black github appleinc finder windows8 skype pinterest pinterest-o chrome firefox edge safari opera file-pdf file-word file-excel html-five asterisk search search-plus search-minus cog arrow-circle-o-down arrow-circle-o-up edit share-square-o check-square-o arrows question-circle arrow-left arrow-right arrow-up arrow-down mail-forward expand compress eye eye-slash comment twitter-square facebook-square camera-retro cogs comments thumbs-o-up thumbs-o-down sign-out linkedin-square external-link sign-in unlock feed bell-o arrow-circle-left arrow-circle-right arrow-circle-up arrow-circle-down globe filter arrows-alt link paperclip bars envelope linkedin rotate-left bell angle-left angle-right angle-up angle-down desktop mail-reply mail-reply-all chain-broken chevron-circle-left chevron-circle-right chevron-circle-up chevron-circle-down html5 unlock-alt youtube-square youtube-play dropbox stack-overflow apple windows trello female male arrow-circle-o-right arrow-circle-o-left wordpress file-image-o paper-plane paper-plane-o share-alt cc-visa cc-paypal cc-stripe bell-slash bell-slash-o facebook-official trademark registered wikipedia-w question-circle-o