On the Organizations of The Future and Why They Are Different in Kind and Not Just In Form

We are in the middle of fascinating period of human history and we are not really taking advantage of it. At least not yet. To me , when I pause to ponder about it, I realize that we are living in a time when collaboration group building and managing is easier and faster than any other time in history. Yes this has to do with the digital communication networks that we have set up over the past 25 years but it really is more about the social norms that have evolved and emerged out of the ubiquitous networks. We aren’t just technically able to communicate in simple many to many groups, what is fascinating is that its normal. Its expected. We cant imagine not being able to. Currently I would imagine that the majority of what we are doing is still just sharing media of others, there isn’t nearly as much discussion of our own ideas. We aren’t used to sharing our ideas. By and large most of us are still educated to believe that behaving and following rules will yield us a position of safety in our adult life. And so we lurk. Or we hide behind an emoji or a simple abbreviation. But it wont stay this way for long. We are at the cusp of an emergent new reality. A reality in which norms are malleable. Organizations of all shapes and sizes will become more and more nimble, as the power of those groups are dispersed more and more across the entire group instead of just at the top. This will happen not by conscious design but rather because the group will realize its power. It will wake up out of its sheep likeness and recognize that it has the power to group together and act differently without permission. Or perhaps better said it will have the permission of itself. I’m looking forward to seeing this new reality emerge and to see how it will play itself out. More and more of humanity is recognizing that greed in fact is not good and that endless growth is the guarantee of our own destruction. And more and more of us are beginning to recognize that we are in a position to do something about it. Its not about chanting and shouting in protest in the streets its not about revolting in a head on manner. Its about gathering together and simply coordinating a different choice a new and better alternative that is hacked out of internal heated discussion. The best idea can win because all ideas can now have a place and can be amplified if valued. While in all probability it will take quite some time for these implications of social structure and power to play itself out, we are slowly beginning to see it come out. There are many cases of emergent non appointed groups coming together and accomplishing something deeply needed yet simply not addressed. It seems to me that there will be more of us that slowly adapt to this new reality. That we no longer need organizations to be taken care of by those who purport to know best. We can join together and use our collective intelligence to come to a consensus on what is best and act from there. More and more of us will refuse to work in organizations that are essentially dictatorships and reward us merely with kibbles in the shape of dollars. And when we reach a tipping point there will be a new kind of organization an organization that does not just aim to be selfish at the cost of anything in its path but an empathetic organization an organization guided my the group to fulfill its mission and to ensure that it does not to harm. An organization that will not ruin its environment like a cancer in a maniacal quest to maximize shareholder profit but rather it will strategically arrange itself to act with wisdom. With an understanding of its limits, its cliffs. I think this reality is possible in the abstract. In reality it needs first movers, those with the vision and courage to get the ball rolling. We need to design new digital tools to enable the entire process. Our social media is modeled after the old command styles of dissemination with the ability to comment thrown in as a afterthought. We need a model that enables discussion to turn into proposals that can turn into decisions that can turn into actions. These new tools will not be about enabling message sharing as much as it will be about group decision making in real time. This essay itself is an example. It can be shared and discussed. But then what? How can a proposal to act on this essay be proposed. How can that proposal be discussed voted upon and then acted on? currently we have to use tools ad-hoc that have not been designed for such a purpose who will design what comes after social media?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s