09 September 2010

Here Comes Clay Shirky

I finally finished Here Comes Everybody recently.  Plenty has been written about the book, most notably (in our world) Matt Baehr's review/recap posts as he read the book.

So I thought I'd take a different tack.  I highlighted in a limited way as I read through it, and I thought I'd start an irregular series and pull out things I highlighted and explain why they struck me.  We'll see how this goes.
In that chaotic period, the old systems get broken long before new ones become stable.
Chapter 3, pg. 68
It's an article of faith at this point that associations are risk-averse. Which means the above is a problem.  Assuming Shirky's right, "the way we've always done it" is going to stop working *before* "the way we should do it" becomes apparent.

What does that mean? We have to be willing to experiment with as many options as seem reasonable and we can manage at one time as quickly as possible.  We have to start actually paying attention to which things work and which things don't.  We have to be willing to fail.  We have to be willing to be criticized.  And we have to be nimble enough to move on without wasting time on the circular firing squad of blame.

Are you up to the challenge?

1 comment:

Thomas Getchius said...

Thanks for sharing this Elizabeth. From my brief experience working in associations (just over 5 years) I have seen that the mindset and phrase "we've always done it that way" leads to gloom and doom. That way of doing things for the sake of doing them because they worked are falling apart and can't be repaired fast enough before a new solution presents itself. Again, in my experience, the reason that the solution doesn't present itself or come to light before the current mentality fails is a lack of leadership and a hesitancy to embrace change.

Looks like I will enjoy reading this book too. I just finished Cognitive Surplus this morning and am buzzing with ideas.