Designing The 21st Century Enterprise


Organization & Governance: Tactics

As a river flows from it's source to the ocean, it covers different types of terrain and different environmental circumstances. In order to sustain it's integrity as a river, the water adapts to the shoreline, the boulders, and the other obstacles in it's path. Could the river make it to it's destination without adapting?

What are the tactics needed for organizations and governments to be sustainable in the 21st Century? By what method(s) will the enterprise of the 21st Century implement the new strategies for innovation, design, production, and distribution? What are the leverage points for implementing a 21st Century enterprise?

"The architect of the web works as the spider does, by ceaselessly spinning new tendrils of connection, while also continually strengthening those that already exist. The architect's tools are not force, not the ability to issue commands, but rather providing access and engaging in constant dialogue. Such an architect recognizes that the periphery and the center are interdependent, parts of a fabric, no seam of which can be rent without tearing the whole. Balance and harmony are essential if the periphery is to hold; if only the center is strong, the edges will quickly fray. Thus the leader in a web-like structure must manifest strength by yeilding, and secure his or her position by continually augmenting the influence of others."
THE WEB OF INCLUSION; Sally Helgesen, 1995

Your response

What percentage of today's executives -- no matter what the size of their enterprise -- consciously employ the processes inherent in this metaphor?

"Desert Rose Industries is a diversified wholesale manufacturer of enough furniture, computers, toys, and recreation equipment to have made any twentieth-century captain of industry proud. But if you assembled all Desert Rose employees in front of corporate headquarters, you'd see Carl and Maria Santos standing beside a building the size of a four-bedroom house. This industial giant is a typical mom-and-pop business, helped along by a network of telecommuters who handle sales and customer support from homes scattered across North America."
UNBOUNDING THE FUTURE: The Nanotechnology Revolution; K. Eric Drexler, Chris Peterson and Gayle Pergamit, 1991

Your response

When will this scenario become a well publicized reality?

"No need here to count the ways that organizations and cultures resist change and backslide when change does occur. Just let it be said that the resistance here (as in other cases) is proportionate to the size and speed of the change, not to whether the change is a favorable or unfavorable one. If an organizational or cultural reform meets tremendous resistance, it is because it's either a tremendously bad idea or a tremendously good idea. Trivial change, bureaucratic meddling, is much easier to accept, and that's one reason why you see so much of it."
MASTERY; George Leonard, 1991

Your response

Is it possible for large organizations to fundamentally change without catastrophic failures or outside forces?

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