On the End of Corporations

Yan Simard has been hosting an interesting conversation on the future of the corporate model, the knowledge society, and what will happen to those left behind. These are all themes that I’ve covered before, and Yan provides his own unique perspective, especially on The end of corporations. We are of different generations as well, so it’s good to get his point of view on this impending(?) change in the world of work.

I’m fairly certain that networks of micro-organisations are on the rise, and will challenge the corporate model. I’m not sure if the corporation will become suddenly extinct though, as most of our laws and business practises favour the corporation over the individual. Witness who legally owns the intellectual property (IP) produced by the employee [answer: the corporation]. It’s only in some universities that the knowledge worker maintains these rights. While workers may not own the IP, they will always own the "know-how". This intangible know-how is the real value of knowledge – being able to do something with it.

Some day, lawyers and corporations may realise that IP itself has minimal value – as most IP isn’t worth the effort to protect it. The command and control corporate model may be forced to change when shareholders really understand the fact that the valuation of their average corporation is getting to be upwards of 85% intangible assets. These intangibles are worthless without the know-how of knowledge workers. Therefore the actual value of the average corporation, without its people, is getting close to zero. So where would you put your money?

One Response to “On the End of Corporations”

  1. Anonymous

    how to steal the thunder from the national leaders debate”I think I can ! I think I can ! I think I can ! I think I can !” roared the little red engine !

    Some of the best tasting chocolate bars have died a sad and lonely death on the dusty shelves of convenience stores. Why ? Well, I’m sure their creators blamed a thousand different reasons : bad timing, bad packaging, poor marketing, or perhaps Hershey and Neilson conspired to shut them out of the market.

    Ultimately, the inability of a product like a chocolate bar to gain the market share it deserves boils down to one simple factor, lack of consumer awareness. Until recently I suffered from a lack of awareness about the Green Party. Their platform and policies evaded my radar screen until the Canadian media monopoly declined to allow them into the nationally televised debate. Then Jim Harris and assoc. held a press conference to cry fowl. I happened to be watching C.B.C. as this news conference aired, and that is exactly when I became aware of what the Green Party was all about.

    So there you have it. As a consumer of Canadian Political Chaocolate Bars, I was finally made aware of just how great the Green bar tasted. Unfortunately for the Green Party, I am entirely sure that the number of people watching the C.B.C., at that particular time, was insignificantly large enough to convert voters in the numbers required to make a difference. Being on the nationally televised debate would give the Green Party the exposure it would need to make a large difference, but that ain’t gonna happen. Sooo…

    Please meet Karma Guy, and please read The Great Debate. When you have finished reading The Great Debate, please come back and finish reading this letter. I will explain how lemon-ade can be made from the lemons the media monopoly has handed out.


    If you have ever been to a sporting event in a large arena, or even watched one on TV, then you are probally familiar with a wave .
    A wave occurs when one small individual stands up and yells “WAVE !”, then , if all goes properly, people start standing and sitting in a synchronized sequence that mimic’s a wave. Something similar happens in marketing when, properly done, a product appears out no where and suddenly every body is aware of it ( witness the kids fads of Pokeman or more recently Beanz ).

    I want to gather a sea of Green and start a ‘tsunami’. To accomplih this 3 things will be necessary:
    1/ the power of belief,
    2/ a focus of effort,
    3/ an army of the willing.

    If done properly, The Green Party should experience a focus of attention that will cause more people (like me) to finally become aware of just how great the Green bar tastes.

    If you would like to stand up and shout “tsunami” along with me, you need do only three simple things:
    1/ copy this letter, and redirect it to as many people on your e-mail list as you feel comfortable sending it to,
    2/ add to it a note of personal recommendation to a) read this book, b)contact the C.B.C., and c) in turn for each recipient, in turn, to redirect this letter to their e-mail lists,
    3) contact local media outlets, and “let them in on” this event.

    This is not spam, it’s more like a chain letter. If marketing theory holds up, if enough people join the campaign, then the day after the leaders debate, the only thing the pundits will be talking about is the Green Party. Let’s call it operation “steal their thunder”, let’s start on Wednesday the 9th.

    Karma Guy


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