Sunday, February 15, 2009

The future of work: towards chaordic business?

This interview on the future of work as shaped by modern infotech and social media is extremely interesting not only because of the implications for social infotech tools in business, but also because it suggests an evolution of business and the enterprise into more flexible and adaptive systems. Are we going towards a less deterministic way of running business? One combining chaos and order, considering the enterprise as a chaordic system... that would be much, much better than enterprise 2.0: should we call it enterprise x.0?

Actually it's quite interesting to see that in different fields the chaordic vision is emerging as the next generation way of doing things, which is one of the reasons why I try to remain involved in several areas where I see those patterns:

  • the Internet as an enabler of radically transformed patterns of interaction and transaction, where small is the new big as Seth Godin puts it

  • online and interactive marketing especially when involving individuals as more than mere consumer or "target segments"

  • marketing micro-segmentation and analytics

  • agile methods in IT development (I especially enjoy Scrum both as Scrum Master and as Product Owner)

  • social media

  • Spiral Dynamics and Ken Wilber's incredible work

  • environmental crisis as an opportunity to enable "strange attractors" in business and society

  • financial crisis as an opportunity to review the monolithic system pyramidal of mega-corporations

These are just such exciting times. We're in a world that is engaged in more than a mere transition or paradigm shift. This is complete mutation and our challenge as individuals is to become mutants firstly by way of introspection and change within because that's where the way of approaching the world changes. We need to abandon the child's illusion of power: each is powerless, yet completely necessary no matter how "small", for the entire system to morph itself into the most relevant shape given circumstances.

Some of the implications:

  • the rules will need to have some quality of emergence and flexibility

  • only necessary rules should be enforced and we need to stop looking at institutions as parental figures that will do for us what we are not prepared to do for ourselves

  • individual responsibility, creativity and commitment become paramount

  • inner peace of each is a pre-requisite for solving the different types of social neurosis that we're seeing nowadays in many places of the so-called "developed" world

  • education models have to evolve because the education system was built to educate the masses during the industrial revolution and we've moved to a world of constant evolution, exploration and learning, which is one of the reasons why I like so much Montessori (a radicla innovator), Freinet, De Bono, Decroly, Fran├žoise Dolto...

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