Charles Green got me thinking with this post:
Ideas lead technology. Technology leads organizations. Organizations lead institutions. Then ideology brings up the rear, lagging all the rest—that’s when things really get set in concrete.
Put more succinctly:
When we look at the past century of business, the progress has been:
- Mass Production
- Business Schools
- Management Theory
I am fairly positive that the industrial era based on cheap energy (oil) is coming to an end. At the same time the Internet has changed the way we work, learn and most importantly, converse. Combine ridiculously easy group-forming with energy scarcity and you get the demise of command & control and mass production & distribution.
We’re now at the stage where we have some new ideas for work (wirearchy, natural enterprises, workplace democracy) and some new technologies (social media, nano-bio-techno-cogno). The next step in this evolution is the new organization. Remember that business schools only followed after the mass production model had been proven. Therefore we cannot expect leadership from our institutions until we have proven a new organizational model. It’s time to get to work.