The digital has taken the economy by storm. The shift is from physical to digital, from bricks to clicks, from manpower to mind-power. In a world where anything is possible wealth is created not so much by brute force, money, power, and scale but by imagination.
The way we create wealth is changing, work has got to change with it. The most valuable assets in the networked economy are mind-power, innovation and creativity.
Over the last 50 to 60 years the way we manage work has hardly changed. The last decade management has stopped evolving. Management today was invented almost 100 years ago by people born in a previous century.
Management 100 years ago was created to turn farmers into semi-programmable robots. Humans doing the same thing over and over again. The future of work is not about dull routines, it’s about being more human. It seems strange but behind all this high technology is low technology.
Mankind invented management, now it’s time to reinvent it. These are the challenges that organizations face today.
For the first time in history change itself has changed. Internet connections, data storage, mobile devices, co2 emissions, gnome sequencing, everything today is growing at an exponential pace. Organizations need to be more adaptive, and change as fast as change itself.
The digital has created an unbounded world. A world without barriers, where organizations need to defend margins and positions, and earn their place in the market every single day. Innovation is the work of everybody, all the time, every day.
Knowledge itself is becoming a commodity. The shift is from what kind of knowledge advantage do I have right now to how fast am I creating new knowledge. We need to create organizations where people are willing to bring the gifts of their creativity and passion.
We need to create organizations that are endless inventive, highly adaptable, and truly inspiring. Fit for the future but also fit for human beings. That change as fast as change itself. Evolve their management model faster than its competitor. Inspire workers, satisfy stakeholders, and delight customers.
Aim high, start working. Don’t imitate someone else’s best practices. Challenge dogma, unexamined, wall paper beliefs. Learn from the fringes, this is where the future happens. Be an innovator, rulebreaker, changemaker. Honor the gifts of your people.
For every truly radical idea that forever changes the practice of management, there are dozen of others that are less valuable and less influential. But that’s not an excuse not to innovate.
On a side note. This is not about you. I’m pretty sure your workaday lives are fulfilling, and your organization so boundlessly capable that it’s now pointless to long for something better.