Ever heard of "hyperconnectivity"?
The term goes back to the Canadian social scientists Anabel Quan-Haase and Barry Wellman. As part of their studies of human-to-human and human-to-machine communication in networked organizations and societies, they came up with the definition that "hyperconnectivity enables connections between the world of people, machines, and beyond that are realized at even greater speeds." (Source: Wikipedia)
The interaction of people and devices around the world in real time and the nearly limitless exchange of information exposes organizations in a hyperconnected world to all the effects of VUCA, and in simultaneity at that:
- The dissemination of information and messages in real time over distances increases the volatility and rapid change of situations and circumstances.
- The abundance of available information increases uncertainty and makes it difficult to distinguish between relevant and reliable data versus irrelevant or erroneous ones.
- The constant networking and interaction between different stakeholders lead to an increased complexity of systems and processes, which challenges their management.
- The constant availability of different points of view and opinions creates ambiguity and prevents clear interpretations or or unambiguous solutions.
As always, there are two sides to the coin! On the positive side, hyperconnectivity offers new opportunities for innovation, collaboration and global engagement. At the same time, risks such as data breaches, cybercrime, the spread of misinformation, and increasing dynamism and disruption must not be ignored. However, in an already overwhelmed context, the constant ability to adapt to VUCA impacts, in my observation, also causes even more effort, which in turn favors acting more out of old, supposedly stable patterns. The reptilebrain rejoices!
This is exactly the responsibility for leaders and organizational development. How to find the right balance between change (improving the past) and transformation (creating the future) and to fundamentally consider these aspects in one's business model and strategy implementation and execution? How to bring people along instead of being left behind or underestimating their importance within the dramatic technology development?