Do we want to talk about a desired future? Or work toward creating that future?
I completed my doctorate in leadership & organizational change almost 20 years ago and still have many boxes of articles I copied in support of those studies. In looking through some of these articles recently, I was struck by how similar many of them are to what is written today about the type of organization we need for our rapidly evolving world. Think about that - having a vision that remains just outside our reach for 20 years.
In many ways Corporate Rebels reminds me of “The cluetrain manifesto” (Weinberger, 2000), now 20 years ago. I fully support the “8 Trends” but also see a number of issues that will arise when making the transition – moving the concepts into practice. Similarly, Hamel & Zanini lay out a great vision in the first part of “Humanocracy” that then gets disjointed in how to move that vision to reality. This is not to say that there are not places where this desired vision is not lived today. However, an examination of those organizations usually reveals a foundation established early in the organization’s life or a cultural transformation led by a visionary leader who had a long tenure. Missing is how to transform mature organizations from within which is true rebel work. Over the years, I have seen many “corporate rebels” initiatives that start with rapid and enthusiastic growth as everyone discusses how great it would be to live in that desired future state. However, interest starts to wane as discussions begin to repeat with the arrival of new converts. Sometimes, I will loop back a year or two later only to find the same discussions for the desired vision repeating.
As you might guess, I am testing the water here to see if the interest is focused on the future or what we can do today to bring about a desired future tomorrow.
Today, we are launching another course in the Corporate Rebels Academy: “How Buurtzorg Works.” This inspiring case study of highly successful self-management explains how Buurtzorg, an organization with over 15,000 nurses, has pushed the boundaries of home health care in the Netherlands by operating with 100+ completely self-managed teams.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup has been appearing in the news for all the wrong reasons and is already one of the most controversial sporting events that have been organized. There have been many concerns about Qatar’s suitability as a host country but even more touched on is the treatment of workers hired to build the infrastructure. This is something that FIFA should have been aware of when the decision was made to host the event in Qatar due to the knowledge that the country relies heavily on migrant workers and its exploitive labor system.
For the last two years, we've been working on a book about Haier, the Chinese manufacturing firm reinventing management as we know it. Writing this book was a long, interesting, and intense process, but we managed to wrap up the final manuscript of the book earlier this year, titled "Start-up Factory." Although the book will only be published in September 2022, we gave Corporate Rebels Academy community members early bird access to the final manuscript. Here is a selection of their reactions to the book.