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.
Be the first rebel to reply.
Ford's management model became the most influential one in the early 20th century. It embraced the possibilities enabled by the assembly line. This was followed by the General Motors' model (i.e. the multidivisional firm), and later by Toyota's model (i.e. Lean). More recently, electronic technologies (like computers and the Internet) have enabled the rise of the global 'Agile movement' with Spotify's model as the poster child. But now, with more and more IoT technologies, what will become the most influential management model of the future?
Maria Popova writes, “The history of the world is the history of telling others who and what we are—from tribal markings to national flags to family crests to pronoun-specifying email signatures.” How we choose to tell our stories—and what artifacts we choose to highlight—alters the way we hear our past, experience our present, and create our future.
Just over 5 years ago we quit our corporate jobs to start Corporate Rebels. Our mission was simple: to make work more fun. And it hasn’t changed. Five years later, it’s fair to ask: "Where do we now stand in the workplace revolution"?