Designing The 21st Century Enterprise


Organization & Governance: Strategy

Organizations and Governments that were once created to 'control' and 'motivate' now must create environments that support people in learning, growing and improving. These environments are both rigid and flexible, structured and unstructured. These organizations are highly adaptive and are sustainable in an environment of rapid change and increasing complexity.

What will be the strategies for sustainibility for organizations and governments in the 21st Century? By what processes will our enterprises organize themselves to maintain structure while facilitating flexibility and individuality?

"The idea of resisting forces is a simple one, but putting it into practice can be rather tricky. On the one hand, the reistance of materials that form the building blocks of the engineer is not ever precisely known, for there is always the danger of the weak link in an otherwise sound chani. On the other hand, predicting the forces to which a structure may be subjected at any time in the future can be as difficult and as unsure as predicting the weather. . . In order to make such ideas precise enough to be able to order the right amount of steel or concrete for a sturcture, the engineer must be prepared to posit causes and anticipate as much as possible what forces besides gravity will be acting on his proposed structure, which is like a little man-made solar system created to be set among other man-made solar systems within the given universe."
THE PENCIL: A History of Design and Circumstance; Henry Petroski, 1993

Your response

Will 21st century executives be selected because they are knowledgeable in many different fields and industires or because they have deep knowledge of the industry they are in?

"Effective followers see themselves - except in terms of line responsibility - as the equals of the leaders they follow. In the spirit of the 'commons,' effective followers take a barn-raising approach to working with the leader. In this era of distributed leadership, they realize that everyone takes turns leading and following. If they want the current leader to support them when the roles are reversed, they must be a fully contributing follower now. All too often, less effective followers do the minimum when following, saving their energy for when they lead. This results in team leaders who have to do all the work because their passive followers are focused only on their own leadership projects."

Your response

Currently, in our enterprise, followership is . . .

""We need, therefore, to be very serious about this work of field creation, because fields give form to our words. (See LEADERSHIP AND THE NEW SCIENCE; Margaret J. Wheatley, 1992 , Rupert Sheldrake and Morphogenic fields ) If we have not bothered to create a field of vision that is coherent and sincere, people will encounter other fields, the ones we have created unintentionally or casually.

Your response

Does your existing organization consider how these fields help or hinder organizational coherence?

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