Designing The 21st Century Enterprise


Creativity & Learning: Strategy

"Human beings are designed to learn. 'The drive to learn,' says the anthropologist Edward T. Hall, 'is more basic than the drive to reproduce.' Our primary institutions, work and school, are designed to control - and with the breakdown of our family structures, these institutions are increasingly pivotal in shaping social norms and behaviors.

"The young child learns very quickly that school is not about learning. School is about avoiding mistakes. School is about getting the right answers. School is about gaining approval and avoiding disapproval. These are the same lessons the first time worker learns. Don't screw up, do what you're told, if something is screwed up make sure you don't get blamed, at all costs look good."
Peter Senge

How will the enterprise of the 21st century deal with "failure?" enterprise?

"The competitive edge in the coming decades will be held by those individuals and companies who can tap into new, life-driven sources of inspiration, creativity and vitality."
INNER EXCELLENCE: Spiritual Principles of Life-Driven Business; Carol Orsborn, 1992

Your response

By 2010 this kind of creativity will . . .

"'If you have a model, you know what the permissible structures are,' says Nobel laureate Linus Pauling, the main rival to Watson and Crick in the race to the double helix. 'The models themselves permit you to throw out a larger number of structures than might otherwise be thought possible. But then, I think that the greatest value of models is their contribution to the process of originating new ideas.' Model building is now quite a bit more respectable . . . that such tools were an integral part of the discovery of the double helix helped make that so."
SHARED MINDS; Michael Schrage, 1990

Your response

What part do modeling, metaphor, and analgy play in your organization?

"Because knowledge is the steel of the modern economy - the essential commodity all else depends on - learning has become the strategically central enterprise for national economic strength that steelmaking was in the industrial age. As a result, the nations that stop trying to 'reform' their education and training institutions and choose instead to totally replace them with a brand-new, high-tech learning system will be the world's economic powerhouses through the twenty-first century."
SCHOOL'S OUT; Lewis J. Perelman, 1992

Your response

Do we have the tools and processes today to throw out existing school systems and totally restructure our formal learning processes for a knowledge economy?

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