Accessing Your Power (The DREAM MOVEMENT Series Book 4)

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Patagonia, for example, has a traditional old power business model, yet it stands out for its embrace of new power values like transparency. Their core operating models are peer-driven, and their values celebrate the power of the crowd. This is where we find established peer-driven players, like Wikipedia, Etsy, and Bitcoin, and newer sharing-economy start-ups, like Lyft and Sidecar.

This quadrant also includes distributed activist groups and radically open education models. Some organizations have moved from one quadrant to another over time. Since then, TED has broadened its model by enabling self-organization and participation via the TEDx franchise and by making its previously closed content open to everyone.

Both decisions have had a major impact on the scale and reach of the TED brand, even as the organization has grappled with risks associated with loosening control. TED is now effectively leveraging a complementary old power and new power business model. Most organizations recognize that the nature of power is changing. But relatively few understand the keys to influence and impact in this new era.

Companies see newly powerful entities using social media, so they layer on a bit of technology without changing their underlying models or values.

The Civil Rights Movement And The Second Reconstruction, 1945—1968

They host the occasional, awkwardly curated, lonely Google hangout with the CEO. But having a Facebook page is not the same thing as having a new power strategy. The New York Times is struggling with exactly this dilemma, as its leaked innovation report last year demonstrated. Traditional organizations that want to develop new power capacity must engage in three essential tasks: 1 assess their place in a shifting power environment, 2 channel their harshest critic, and 3 develop a mobilization capacity.

Guided Meditation for Meeting Your Future Self (Special Collaboration with Jason Stephenson)

A telling exercise is to plot your organization on the new power compass—both where you are today and where you want to be in five years. Plot your competitors on the same grid. To understand how your organization is deploying new power, consider which participation behaviors you are enabling.

This process starts a conversation about new realities and how your organization needs to respond. What if there were an Occupy-style movement directed at you? Imagine a large group of aggrieved people, camped in the heart of your organization, able to observe everything that you do. What would they think of the distribution of power in your organization and its legitimacy? What would they resent and try to subvert?

Figure it out, and then Occupy yourself. This level of introspection has to precede any investment in new power mechanisms. Companies should be especially careful about building engagement platforms without developing engagement cultures, a recipe for failure. Websites are popping up that provide forums for anonymous employee accounts of what is really going on inside businesses and how leaders are perceived.

In our new power world, the private behavior—and core challenges—of every organization is only a leak or a tweet away. This poses a threat to happily opaque old power organizations, which face new levels of scrutiny about performance. Are you really delivering advertising reach for my product? Today, the wisest organizations will be those engaging in the most painfully honest conversations, inside and outside, about their impact. Old power organizations need to do more than just look inward; they also need to think differently about how they reach out.

Organizations that have built their business models on consumption or other minimal participation behaviors will find this challenging but increasingly important. In that conflict between technology companies and copyright holders, both sides enlisted armies of lobbyists, but only one side was able to mobilize an army of citizens.

Organizations that rely on new power can be easily intoxicated by the energy of their crowds and fail to recognize that to effect real change, they too might need to adapt.

They should bear three essential principles in mind. If old power organizations should fear being occupied, new power organizations should fear being deserted. Those who deploy new power models but default to old power values are especially at risk of alienating the communities that sustain them. It is also a practical challenge: The expectations of critical stakeholders—investors, regulators, advertisers, and so on—often run counter to the demands of new power communities, and balancing those agendas is not easy.

The rise of Uber, the ride-sharing service, is a study in new power. Uber has built an extraordinarily fast-growing and dense transport network without any physical infrastructure at all. The service relies on peer coordination between drivers and passengers, enabled by sophisticated software and a clever reputation system. Passengers rate drivers, but drivers also rate their passengers—building trust and promoting good behavior without the need for a more onerous rules-based system.

By contrast, Airbnb has rallied its hosts into a grassroots army of defenders against skeptical regulators. Making matters worse, Uber is also tussling with its customer base, which it badly needs to keep on its side, over its surge-pricing model. Uber defends the model as rational and efficient, but some see it as a breach of faith, and new power competitors like Lyft are using this mistrust to drive a wedge.

The Civil Rights Movement: s, Freedom's Story, TeacherServe®, National Humanities Center

As Uber scales up, it faces further challenges. At the same time, old power is firing back. French authorities have tried to restrict Uber by proposing a minimum minute wait for any person who requests a car, giving taxi drivers a head start. How will new power players respond to regulatory challenges? For now, the most effective responses will involve a potent combination of old and new power—that is, a traditional lobbying strategy combined with a capacity to mobilize network participants. Facebook, like many organizations with a new power model, is dealing with this tension between two cultures.

Initial surges of interest in alternative social networks promising to honor new power values may be a sign of things to come. As new power concepts of digital rights evolve, these conflicts will most likely increase. Khan Academy is the darling of the digerati, but our education systems remain largely unchanged, with school timetables still built around family lifestyles of the s. Arianna Huffington, for example, has built a platform that comprises a network of 50, self-publishing bloggers, but she also skillfully wields an old power Rolodex.

Bilingual players like Huffington deploy old power connections to get what they need—capital, legitimacy, access to partnerships, publicity—without being co-opted or slowed down. The Ku Klux Klan and pro-life movements fall into this category. Later sociologists studied the life cycle of social movements—how they emerge, grow, and in some cases, die out. Blumer and Tilly outline a four-stage process. In the preliminary stage , people become aware of an issue and leaders emerge.

This is followed by the coalescence stage when people join together and organize in order to publicize the issue and raise awareness. In the institutionalization stage , the movement no longer requires grassroots volunteerism: it is an established organization, typically peopled with a paid staff.

When people fall away, adopt a new movement, the movement successfully brings about the change it sought, or people no longer take the issue seriously, the movement falls into the decline stage. Each social movement discussed earlier belongs in one of these four stages.


Where would you put them on the list? Chances are you have been asked to tweet, friend, like, or donate online for a cause. Nowadays, woven throughout our social media activities, are social movements. After all, social movements start by activating people. Referring to the ideal type stages discussed above, you can see that social media has the potential to dramatically transform how people get involved.

Look at the first stage, the preliminary stage : people become aware of an issue and leaders emerge. Imagine how social media speeds up this step. Suddenly, a shrewd user of Twitter can alert thousands of followers about an emerging cause or an issue on his or her mind. Issue awareness can spread at the speed of a click, with thousands of people across the globe becoming informed at the same time.

In a similar vein, those who are savvy and engaged with social media emerge as leaders. Suddenly, you do not need to be a powerful public speaker. You can build an audience through social media without ever meeting the people you are inspiring. At the next stage, the coalescence stage , social media also is transformative. Coalescence is the point when people join together to publicize the issue and get organized.

Using Twitter and other online tools, the campaign engaged volunteers who had typically not bothered with politics, and empowered those who were more active to generate still more activity. In , when student protests erupted in Tehran, social media was considered so important to the organizing effort that the U. State Department actually asked Twitter to suspend scheduled maintenance so that a vital tool would not be disabled during the demonstrations. So what is the real impact of this technology on the world? Did Twitter bring down Mubarak in Egypt?

In an article in New Yorker magazine, Gladwell tackles what he considers the myth that social media gets people more engaged. He points out that most of the tweets relating to the Iran protests were in English and sent from Western accounts instead of people on the ground.

Rather than increasing engagement, he contends that social media only increases participation; after all, the cost of participation is so much lower than the cost of engagement.

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The people who dropped out of the movement——who went home after the danger got too great——did not display any less ideological commitment. They lacked the strong-tie connection to other people who were staying. People follow or friend people they have never met. While these online acquaintances are a source of information and inspiration, the lack of engaged personal contact limits the level of risk we will take on their behalf. Most theories of social movements are called collective action theories, indicating the purposeful nature of this form of collective behaviour.

The following three theories are but a few of the many classic and modern theories developed by social scientists. Resource mobilization theory focuses on the purposive, organizational strategies that social movements need to engage in to successfully mobilize support, compete with other social movements and opponents, and present political claims and grievances to the state. Framing theory focuses on the way social movements make appeals to potential supporters by framing or presenting their issues in a way that aligns with commonly held values, beliefs, and commonsense attitudes.

Social movements will always be a part of society as long as there are aggrieved populations whose needs and interests are not being satisfied. However, grievances do not become social movements unless social movement actors are able to create viable organizations, mobilize resources, and attract large-scale followings. As people will always weigh their options and make rational choices about which movements to follow, social movements necessarily form under finite competitive conditions: competition for attention, financing, commitment, organizational skills, etc.

Not only will social movements compete for our attention with many other concerns—from the basic our jobs or our need to feed ourselves to the broad video games, sports, or television , but they also compete with each other. For any individual, it may be a simple matter to decide you want to spend your time and money on animal shelters and Conservative Party politics versus homeless shelters and the New Democratic Party.