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?