Instead, I will be developing some themes I have in mind – longer-form ideas that will probably take shape over several posts (and hopefully feedback from you). The first of these (and there may be more than one in progress at any time, so they’ll all have their own category) is something I’m calling “New Enterprise”.
New Enterprise (NE for short, and you’ll notice I’m avoiding a numeric version) will be a discussion in which I will try to make sense of a bunch of what seem to me to be related ideas about business, corporations, the nature of work and people – the sort of idea represented by terms like Enterprise 2.0, enterprise architecture, social business, wirearchy and similar. Why chase it down? Because I think there is a lot to explore in the gaps between those ideas and the way they are understood; and a lot to think about how our economy and our place in it evolves post-GFC.
Some of the inputs to these ruminations will probably be familiar to most of you: people like JP Rangaswami, Andrew Mcfee, Jon Husband, Dennis Howlett, Umair Haque, Sig Rinde and more as we go along. As a rudimentary “table of contents” or roadmap to what might be coming, I’ve put together a mindmap:
Hopefully a few of these cryptic references will become clearer as we develop the theme, and I’m sure more will crop up as we do.
As an introduction, I describe New Enterprise as something of a Utopian ideal – that Nirvana of workplaces we would all love to see in existence – a business that’s great to work in, provides prosperity for all its stakeholders, saves the planet, and rather than just “do no evil” actively does good for society, yada yada. In short, something that will never exist. But something that we should aspire to creating, or transforming existing businesses into … a direction to move in, a destination to start traveling towards.
Yes, I’m an optimist … but I understand that even the first step in this sort of direction will be too great for some companies and individuals to take at all, and even those willing to try may break themselves on the rocks of harsh reality – that understanding in no way diminishes my belief that we are better off for making the effort, and trying to make the best of the opportunities that our world is currently throwing at us. Some would say we have no choice but to try, because our existing economic systems have run out of answers …