Saturday, February 14, 2009

The future of enterprise: what's 2-tier business?

Earlier today I had a quick personal thinking session as to what could well define business organizations of the future in a world of constant (and radical?) change, requiring permanent morphing to adapt and adopt the most relevant form for ever more unpredictable (and improbable?) events. The thinking was prompted by a question someone asked me "what's a 2-tier business?", 2-tier referring to the concepts of Spiral Dynamics. Here's my take in 17 + 1 bonus points.

  1. Ask 5 whys like the kids to get down to the deep meaning of what you spend your time doing

  2. Give where it makes sense and you will receive in a non-transactional as well as in a transactional manner

  3. Transparency, transparency, transparency: no member of the system is negligible, all need to know, all can make a damn difference

  4. "Be the change you want to see in the world" =  agile methods, agile management, agile business, agile development, scrum, xp...

  5. Compassion, coherence, "getting yourself out of the way", expressing meaning, caring for something larger than your little person / team / company / industry / city / country and hope as key drivers of non-intrusive, non-directive, non-centralizing,... leadership

  6. Treating people like adults not like kids or parents

  7. "An ounce of practice is worth more than tons of preaching" = just do it, lead by example, follow with passion, learn by doing...

  8. "Success is a journey, not a destination" = continuous mutation, adaptation and improvement

  9. Listening = watching = sensing = 2-3-4-8-10 x speaking, doing, acting, "running around like headless chicken"

  10. Feedback, feedback, feedback + adjust, adjust, adjust

  11. Alignment between what you think, what you say and what you do - always, no compromise, total commitment, passion, common sense

  12. Thinking, feeling, expressing and acting with your whole being not just your brain

  13. No more rules than strictly required by the best form for the conditions of the moment

  14. Do things your way, not the academic way

  15. Cede control to the "edges" of the organization, to people who face and serve customers all day long, to people who have their fingers on the keyboard, not to the people who chit-chat socially while playing golf

  16. Participation, participation, participation

  17. Fun, fun, fun

+ the bonus point:  "It's the network, stupid!", i.e. networks of autonomous and interconnected interacting professionals shaping-up to deliver results, not some old-world pyramidal command-chain driven organization...


  1. It's work in process and I don't think it's ever going to be otherwise. This is "permanent beta" applied to business.
    One thing that I need to add to my list is a clarification of point 10 as meaning metrics, peer-reviews, peer-assessment and self-assessment.

  2. Alex, great post.
    My fav is #1 : my 3 years son uses this process of 5 times and it works
    This is one of the toyota lean process
    Nicolas Martignole

  3. Nicolas,
    Somehow I thought you would enjoy that one :)