In "Secrets of the Flux Leader," editor-in-chief Robert Safian dove deeper into what drives the career-changing, ever-flexible leaders known as Generation Flux. It seemed like readers had a lot to say, so we kept the discussion going on social networking site Branch. Here's some of what happened.
When the spirit of collaboration doesn't win out, can you still create change with colleagues who aren't open to it?
Tom McCallum, coach, Shirlaws Business Coaching:
@Nick, consider the value of an organization deciding that open collaboration is key to their culture. If that is in place, those who don't align will either change, leave, or be asked to leave.
Robert Safian, editor-in-chief, Fast Company:
The key is balance. Having some colleagues who are less open to change is good, as a counterweight.
All good product ideas eventually find themselves competing in clusters. So what's the right approach before making a large product change? If a large tech company enters the cluster, radical change may be necessary.
David Lidsky, deputy editor, Fast Company:
The best use of a pivot is to make yourself distinctive as @Adrian was discussing. In today's culture, where there are 100 brands of breakfast cereal in every aisle of everything in life, being distinctive—as a company, as a professional—is everything.
Tyler Gray, editorial director, FastCompany.com:
Cloud and mobility talk typically focuses on tech, but it's really humans' willingness to be flexible (Flux-able?) that has powered the mobile revolution. Part of GenFlux is putting together a diverse quiver of skills that can also be accessed on the go.
I love that last point, @Tyler. An organic, self-assembling Cloud of People is one great concept to start with. But how does one organize that concretely—how does that look at an organizational level? I am really interested in how work as we know it will be transformed by GenFlux.
The key is empowering almost everyone in the organization—or at least everyone in a large, far-flung group within the organization—to handle a huge range of responsibilities. The challenge in this is assembling a team with a broad range of abilities (Fluxers, holla!) and keeping track of who's doing what, where, and when.
Benjamin Palmer, cofounder and CEO, The Barbarian Group:
@Tyler Yeah, part of Flux is scrutinizing the layers—do we need to add management or can people make their own decisions?
Hulu's future will say a lot about what's possible for Amazon, Netflix, and YouTube, as Nicole LaPorte found in her story on Hulu CEO Jason Kilar ("Breaking Bad"). But some readers wrote in to say that Hulu should be paying close attention to another model: Apple's.
Content owners need to get paid, and consumers want what they want when they want it at a reasonable price on whatever device they choose. You either use technology to your advantage—to deliver more value—or someone else will. Content owners might argue that the economics of the iTunes distribution system hurt them, but it beats the heck out of free. -Tim Heile, Maui, Hawaii
The chances of my signing up for monthly charges—to pay whether I read/watch or not— are zero. This pricing model does not appeal to reason. Years back, I suggested to the publisher of The New York Times that he charge me for reading online based on how much time I spent. If there is something I really want to read or see, I will pay for it on the spot. I never heard back. -Robert Ramirez, McAllen, Texas
A version of this article appeared in the February 2013 issue of Fast Company magazine.