Since speaking at the Social Media Business Summit in London on March 18, I’ve been pondering the meaning of transparency and what this paradigm means to business and the social realm. The topic is HOT on the tongues of many as Facebook works out its kinks and philosophy in this area.
I’m convinced that humanity is entering a fantastic age, where undiscovered aspects of ourselves and the world appear the moment we imagine. And I firmly believe that our social networks offer us the means for this evolution to take place. And I believe that transparency plays a significant role in this growth process.
We have entered an age where fantastic job titles are possible, careers for Social Relationship Architects, Social Strategists, and Social Physicists, among others. These careers are for people who have training in existing disciplines AND who are able to think metaphorically, drawing lines across right and left hemispheres of thought, weaving new worlds of relationship. Many brands are using liquid metaphors and the overall ethos in business culture implies, and actually demands, porous, permeable forms.
We live in a time when our networks contain people who are super-relevant and specific to our dreams, aspirations and challenges. Goethe’s quote could not be more true at this time: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.” It takes a boldness composed of genius, power and magic to enter one’s social networks and begin creating and synthesizing relationships. It takes a willingness to ask questions, be awe-inspired and open to what your particular network has for you, for where you are right now. No other person has the same network that you have. No other person sees the world like you do. And no other person has the opportunities to contribute to this customized network than you…you are, after all, the one who built it and owns it. Corporations, communities, and the numerous other forms that humanity has created for progress MUST be more like the clear waters of the Mediterranean vs. the opaque waters of the Pacific.
Transparency is not something to be feared. It is the greatest opportunity to be exactly who you are meant to be, no shame, no fear: a wild animal out in the open, a tendril springing across the earth for all to see as you bloom and root into the soil of your community and offer your fruit. And, of course, as in the animal and plant kingdoms, there are associated dangers of competition and survival of the fittest. As human beings, our challenge is to balance all of the shades of experience: thought and heart, mind and body, civilization and “the wild”. And it is this very weaving of opposites, of varying shades, that creates the patchwork quilt of the human family and our social networks. Transparency offers benefits to progress that cannot be ignored. Learning implies freedom of movement and communication. Transparent environments offer us this.
My observation is that an alignment is taking place globally that is akin to a holographic puzzle coming into wholeness. Before, with Google, we looked and found. Now, with social networks like Facebook, we see in multi-colored, multi-dimensional space, what the community surrounding a keyword looks like…we see the faces, read the updates, hear the music and taste the journey that this key-phrase is taking. The paradigm of transparency is revealing the living nature of our languages and images. This is a good thing!