Initially, without the skills of a programmer, we could only look at information. This static and read-only experience is referred to as “Web 1.0” As life moved on and technology continued to change, platforms began to emerge that allowed the general public to begin to interact with information on the web. WordPress and other blogging platforms made it possible for anyone to have a voice online. Wikipedia begin gathering and harnessing data to become a global repository of information. MySpace and Facebook made it possible for people to begin to connect. This stage of development and interaction is referred to as “Web 2.0”
And it didn’t stop there. As mobile phones got smaller and more practical, they also got smarter. As service capabilities increased, the way mobile devices were used changed too. Fast forward a couple years, mobile technology is pervasive, smart devices are everywhere from our homes to our workplaces. And now our devices gather information and notify us of things we’re interested in across all that we do whether we are actively participating or not. This is the World of 3.0.
This is a world where mass quantities of data about your every move are being gathered, messages bombard you constantly, transparency is a given, while 24-7 access transforms how, when and where work takes place. This is the world we live in, yet the business and social systems that this world runs on, for the most part have in no way caught up to the pace of changes that are happening all around us.
3.0 leaders understand the power of collaboration, and how to leverage their networks. They are not only life-long learners, but examine day by day what is still relevant and what is not. They are not afraid of the new and seek ideas that produce disruptive and game changing innovations.
Everything’s changed and yet nothing has changed. What you need to know as a leader has changed and is changing. What it takes to be a leader, however, is still the same. What’s important is how we react to the change around us, and learn to effectively take advantage of that change.
Sara Hand is a founder of Spark Growth and an organizer of 3.0 Leaders Conference, a convening of leaders from around the country and Canada across community, civic, non-profit and private sectors. These initiative exists to create generative network of leaders to working together to discover the new rules, identify best practices and meet the challenges facing our communities in today’s rapidly changing world.