#learn power wednesdays: Understanding “New Power”

In the December
2014 issue of the Harvard Business Review
, Jeremy Heimans and
Henry Timms published their take on what new power meant for the
business world : A participatory tsunami sweeping aside old
businesses in favour of economic models allowing people to go beyond
their role of passive consumers.

Below is their graph of contrasting power values:


…and a matrix classifying businesses
according to old/ new power values (x axis) and old/ new power model
(y axis).


Note that enterprises subscribing both
to old power values and to old power organisational models have not
disappeared, in fact, they field many a powerful organisation.
Interestingly, you can also see examples of the new power model of
organisation subscribing to old power values.

While the article « Understanding
‘New Power’ »  is logically slanted towards the private sector,
it gives us a good feel as to what new power actually means in the
political realm. It is a fresh breath of air, mobilising the energy
of countless of people to participate. It harnesses the power of
networks and of innovation. New power encourages activism,
collaboration and transparency. It is however far from being a panacea: When facing off with old power, the biggest challenge to new power is
the issue of accountability and of perennity.  

Johanna M

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