Less than 100 of the companies listed on the S&P 500 were around in 1957 when that index began. What a stark reality for a mere six decades. Corporate juggernauts have fallen like idols of a nearly forgotten era. Antiquated approaches to leading organizations have reached their existential peak. A renaissance is not only necessary, but has been brewing for some time and is already marching forward.
The focus of self-perpetuation that the traditional management cartel proliferated throughout the majority of the 20th century still didn’t protect organizations from experiencing the gale force impact of market shifts. While many folks who are emotionally invested in that way of thinking may balk, it’s obvious that the machine needs to be re-tooled.
The world, as a collective entity, is more connected and collaborative than it has ever been before in the history of humanity. Technology is great, but one would be naïve to ignore or deny the complexity the blessing of technology has created in our lives. How we manage our organizations must not only be aware of this, but be creative enough to find a way to be successful and make room for this complexity.
One would be naïve to ignore or deny the complexity the blessing of technology has created in our lives.
The typical approach is to define all the potential variables, then prioritize them based on impact, frequency, risk exposure…you see where I’m going with this, right? This is 20th century thinking to deal with a 21st century issue. Not the brightest approach, yet we keep banging our collective heads against the idiot wall and think something positive will happen if we just repeat it enough times.
The renaissance is, and must be, human-centric.
It is a return to seeing the value in a person as a person, not an asset to sweat. Life is complex. Technology is complex. Intertwining two complex systems results in chaos. We have learned to respond to chaos in our personal lives as a means of necessity. We seem to feel the organization should somehow be exempt from it. So, we create demanding and manipulative policies that only serve to frustrate, disengage and manipulate people. Nice. Stay classy.
It is a return to seeing the value in a person as a person, not an asset to sweat.
Once we step away from the self-perpetuation model, and realize that it is people who make it all happen anyway, there will be less of a need to self-perpetuate. Self-perpetuation will become the result of our efforts, instead of the reason for them.
This renaissance will be awkward, painful and publicly ugly at times as an old paradigm dies and a new one takes hold. Defensive postures will be developed as a way to save face and bad ideas that are pinned to tradition will be dragged kicking and screaming into the darkness of irrelevancy.
It will be a changing of the guard that will be necessary, but difficult for many people. It will affect how we do business, how we define success and how we structure education regarding business. This is good. This is necessary. This is overdue.
What are your thoughts on the renaissance?
Photo Credit: Miah Kat