the blog of dan pontefract | The Great Transformation of the Organization Still Needs the How
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The Great Transformation of the Organization Still Needs the How

DanGPDF

gpdf14Billed as “The Great Transformation”, its work was cut out for itself from the moment you could register online. A conference paying homage to the brilliance of Peter Drucker has now become an annual calendar fixture not to be missed. The 6th iteration of the Global Peter Drucker Forum — recently held in Vienna, naturally — has arguably become the TED or Davos of all leadership conferences. But could we shift into an era of “managing our way to prosperity,” as the conference sub-title suggested?

Could we achieve “The Great Transformation”?

Richard Straub, the Forum’s chief architect, asked a rhetorical question in his opening remarks to the Forum, “Have we reached a turning point?” The ‘we’ he referred to might have been leaders in today’s organizations. I reckon you could argue it was ‘society’ in general that needed an autopsy on turning points. Either way, I sat at my seat, took another look at magnificent mural on the ceiling, and answered the question Richard posed to myself.

No.

We haven’t reached a turning point.

At least not yet.

We’ve reached a crisis point.

Think of it as if you were a member of the G7, trying to sort out what to do about Russia, Vladimir Putin and the ongoing saga that is the Ukraine.

Richard went on to suggest Peter Drucker himself would have categorically stated that, “Management has a key role to play in this transformation.” Hard to disagree with Richard on that point, however, data suggests management remains ambivalent if not clueless to key transformative opportunities. Concepts such as maximizing shareholder value as the singular measure of success, bureaucracy and command and control tactics as the basis for organizational culture and leadership, amongst various human resources inanities that make it difficult to ever feel engaged at work are as prevalent today as traffic congestion on Silicon Valley’s Highway 101 will be decades from now.

Management is the problem. The crisis, ergo, is management.

If we are to reach a transformative “turning point” there would have been many more participants than the 2500 combined in-person and online attendees taking part in this year’s conference. This is not to take anything away from Richard or conference attendees — for these folks are the true trailblazers of organizational change — but if we are to see a great transformation in our lifetime, the Global Peter Drucker Forum ought to become the vehicle for the turning point itself. And we need more people involved to achieve that type of mission.

Quite frankly, the conference should have attracted more than a football stadium full of leaders who want to see such a transformation. “I wish us all an inspiring conference,” Richard gleefully uttered as he concluded his opening remarks. Indeed, it was an inspiring conference … but by the end of the two days it became a stark reminder of how far society needs to venture if we are to truly aspire to a “great transformation.”

Adi Ignateus, Editor-in-Chief of Harvard Business Review, stepped to the microphone looking joyful if not hopeful and bellowed,

“Our starting point is that things are not ok. Debt levels are high, respect for institutions is low, equality is suspect, and we can’t beat the stranglehold of short-term thinking.”

I wanted to give him an affectionate, Canadian polar bear hug — mostly because I’ve been banging on my drum about his opening statement for years — but I ran out of time because walking up on stage to deliver their opening morning keynotes were Pele, Maradona and Sir Bobby Charlton.

No, not really.

But would you believe the opening act included Clay Christensen, Gary Hamel and Roger Martin? This conference was about to get epic. What a triple-play bill of thought leaders to begin with.

The question this trio was tasked to answer was, “Is management up to today’s challenge?”

Renown Harvard Business School professor, Clay Christensen, — he of the disruption theory and accompanying models — claimed that growth comes from innovation and the link between growth and innovation is investment. Clay suggested there are three types of innovation:

  1. Market creating innovations (only the rich have access to it) e.g. the computer. It’s the source of all corporate and national growth. The kind of innovations that allow access to more people and services.
  2. Sustaining innovations – most of what we see today are sustaining innovations, he said. It helps an organization’s margins improve because they make markets vibrant. They don’t create growth, per se. These innovations are important but they are replicative.
  3. Efficiency innovations – helps an organization get lean. If the firm doesn’t get more efficient, they get kicked out of the game sooner. It’s when an organization seeks to “do more with less” as an innovation strategy.

When I heard Clay gracefully and calmly explain the “efficiency innovation” example — using the term “do more with less” — I immediately felt my body go into uncontrollable spasms, reminded of the far-too-frequent number of times I’ve heard that soul-sucking phrase in my various workplace dealings. I always thought it was a practical joke of CFO’s to wax lyrical about doing more with less.

Where I felt Clay answered the question most effectively, however, was when he launched into a finance lesson on numerators and denominators. “Prior to 1980, measures of success were based on whole numbers,” he remarked. “For example, dollars were used as the measurement.” Now that made sense. But Clay went on to outline something I hadn’t thought of before.

“Finance has now given us measures to view how successful we are with capital. These are measures of how efficiently we are using capital. They are ratios and as we know, ratios have a numerator and a denominator.”

Although Clay didn’t come right out and say leaders need to revert back to reporting on and setting whole numbers as financial targets, he did crystalize the fact that there are now two levers to tweak so an organization can improve growth. Actually, it’s been going on for well over 30 years. This, in part, provided me with an answer to the question, “why have our organizations stagnated?”

If an organization wants to become more innovative, what they’re really playing around with isn’t innovation itself, but ratios of capital. This can’t be good. If an organization truly wanted to be innovative, it would invest in the numerator but if that proved too hard — if IRR (internal rates of return) were too low or too slow to achieve — the Finance and/or C-Suite could simply reduce the denominator on the capital ratio.

It’s obvious to me far too many firms are taking the easy way out and shirking their innovation responsibilities by nudging the denominator versus the numerator. Clay said as much by claiming capital has now become abundant and cheap, yet organizations husband it. He believes we’re going in the wrong direction and I couldn’t agree more. Innovation and thus investment in the numerator is required. We need to refrain from the fixation on share buybacks, and use the capital (i.e. the profit) to invest back in the numerator.

Great strategy from Clay, arguably the world’s smartest thinker according to Thinkers 50.

“We stand on the shoulders of others,” exclaimed another management guru Gary Hamel, as he took the stage in what can only be described as a frenetic delivery style, compared to Christensen at least. With the audience half-scared he might venture off the stage to deliver head-butts, he continued,

“How can we build organizations that are adaptable at its core?”

Gary answered his own question right out of the blocks. “Organizations aren’t up to the challenge,” he yelled. (Seriously, he yelled.)

I was scared.

“If the organization wants to survive, they have to transform themselves,” he continued. Ok, I’m with you Gary … but what’s your strategy for change?

He attempted to answer the rhetorical question I asked myself. Gary believes salvation and prosperity (there’s that word again) can be had if the goal of organizations becomes the process in which they can become a self-renewing organization. This happens by innovation which, as he stated, “is the fuel for renewal.” He outlined three approaches (they were questions in all honesty) to build a self-renewing organization:

  1. How have employees been trained as a business investor?
  2. If an employee has an idea, how can they get capital to launch it?
  3. Is the organization measuring the investment/idea and attaching it back to compensation and other targets?

It’s hard to argue with Gary’s ideas, but three things donned on me when he concluded.

First, he’s loud.

Second, the culture within many organizations is far too closed and hierarchical as it stands today, therefore the steps outlined above will never occur unless it’s fixed.

Third, as Christensen pointed out, it’s far too easy for an organization to impose a “do more with less” mantra and to then fiddle with the denominator than it is to make innovation investments with the numerator. So in reality, this has to be fixed first — alongside the culture of an organization — before we can achieve the status of a self-renewing organization that he purports.

Gary is an enthusiastic speaker, replete with plenty of Tweetable catch-phrases — e.g. Management is the love child of Julius Caesar and Frederic Winslow Taylor by introducing command and control tactics and industrial engineering to organizations — but I’m not entirely convinced he effectively answered the question, “Is management up to today’s challenge?”

The final opening act soccer star (err, speaker) was fellow Canadian, Roger L. Martin, Academic Director of the Martin Prosperity (there’s that word again) Institute out of the Rotman School of Business in Toronto. Truth be told, I’ve always been a fan of Roger’s work. He long has railed against the “game” that has been played by publicly traded companies, analysts, hedge funds, pension corporations and the stock market. He, like me, yearns to bring balance to our organizations such that there may be a better sense of equilibrium between purpose and profit.

His talk, as I had hoped, delivered on multiple levels. Speaking on the “Structure of Democratic Capitalist Infrastructure” and how it has become what he calls “perverted”, Roger explained to a captivated audience that “patent trolls” exist solely to make money and they do so by raping and pillaging companies that want to use the technology for good. You should tweet that sentence.

With this inexcusable mindset in play, the infrastructure inside our organizations is set to be far too narrow, thus basing its interests on short termism type actions. As I am an opponent of maximizing shareholder value as the sole means to measure a business, Roger deftly argued (and phew, agrees with me) that this sort of deplorable corporate robbing creates stagnation, a lack of innovation, and a skewing of what the true purpose of an organization really should be.

It was fun to watch Clay Christensen walk off of the stage where he was seated so he could have a better view of Roger’s graphs and charts, which spoke volumes to Roger’s overarching thesis.

Notable comments from Roger throughout the conference included how:

“we’ve structured the corporate world in a way that facilitates the operation of bandits,”

and

“the highest rewards in today’s economy go to people who trade value, and not to the people who create value.”

As usual, Roger nailed it. (#mancrush)

The Global Peter Drucker Forum was two hours into its journey but, with a tear in my eye, I was becoming more depressed by the second. The talks to this point were splendid but the recipe for change — the master playbook for “The Great Transformation” — seemed complex and beyond our reach. Were my expectations off kilter? Or, perhaps, I was correct in asserting we were not at a turning point, but at a continued state of crisis.

The speakers continued throughout day one. Each took a turn identifying the problem, and for some, taking a crack at a solution.

Rick Goings, CEO of Tupperware, told us that:

“leaders are about the sustainability of the organization and that innovation is one of the tools at their disposal.”

More importantly, he felt leadership “is not just to build companies, but to create opportunities for all.” Alright, no disagreement from me on that point, but where’s the how?

Nancy Tennant, Vice-President of Innovation at Whirlpool Corporation suggested for an organization to become innovative — like what they allegedly accomplished at Whirlpool — they should define what innovation is to the firm, train employees on that definition, and then watch how innovation will become an operating norm. Ok, I’ll buy that.

Vineet Nayer, the former CEO of HCL — a company and leader I profiled in FLAT ARMY — stated the turnaround at HCL was due, in part, to a democratization of innovation where ideas were allowed to surface from anywhere, and decisions were made across any level.” He believed that an organization’s competitive advantage lies in “putting employees first, and customers second.” I’ve read the book, so if you’re looking for the ‘how’, there are some good examples you might want to investigate.

Would an economist have better luck answering our question? Martin Wolf, Associate Editor and Chief Economics Commentator at the Financial Times, gave it his best shot suggesting no one individual should be allowed to own a company. “No one can own a country,” Wolf further stated, “so the claim that shareholders should have absolute control of the company is false.” I liked where he was going. It reminded me of the work another economist — Bill Lazonick — had put forward recently on Harvard Business Review.

The real answer began to surface from him when he said, “If management is to use its position to benefit the company and society, it needs the best arrangement in which to do so.” His answer?

“The company should be seen as a semi-permanent institution and philosophically it should be set up much like a trustee relationship.”

Bingo! Wolf had set the table (it felt like a feast) and highlighted a possible answer to our vexing question. Perhaps Wolf was suggesting companies re-establish themselves as B-Corps, (I wrote about B-Corps on Huffington Post) otherwise known as Benefits Corporations? I’d be all for that idea.

Pankaj Ghemawat, a professor at NYU laid part of the blame on today’s business schools. He said, “Irrespective, there is an error of omission in business school education today without being exposed to market failures.” So, in part, an answer can come from the redevelopment of business school education such that market failures are addressed. I’ll agree to that, however, business schools need to take a long, hard look at what they’re teaching and (perhaps) think about a more balanced view of purpose with profit. (I have more to say on this when we make a spectacular announcement in January)

In his usual thoughtful and cerebrally controversial way, John Hagel — Co-Chair of the Deloitte Center for the Edge — claimed most companies are an unnatural bundle of three business types:

  1. Infrastructure management business – high volume e.g. call center
  2. Product innovation and commercialized – e.g. iPad
  3. Customer relationship business – knowing customers better, and helping them more

He reminded us that Peter Drucker once wrote that the role of a CEO is to answer the questions, “what is our business, what should be our business, and what shouldn’t it be.” Hagel wondered aloud if the organization is to keep all three types of business types alive, the end game of the firm will undoubtedly be compromised.

Notably, John indicated between 1965 and present day, ROA (return on assets) has collapsed by 79%, attributing the decrease to a fixation on non-scalable institutions (i.e. the fixation on all three types of business models he defined) as opposed to implementing his answer, the scalable learning organization.

By the end of Day One, it was clear to me many smart people have thought an awful lot about the current crisis. Each had provided a wonderful snapshot explaining “what” was wrong but I still was missing the unified “how is this going to get fixed” answer.

Was there a unified answer out there?

Day two, thankfully, saw the inclusion of several more women delivering talks and panel discussions. Day one was heavily skewed toward the male gender. There were three talks in particular that I found further defined our current crisis, that also provided a glimpse into how our organizations might be fixed.

Rita Gunther McGrath, a professor at Columbia Business School, delivered a delightful talk suggesting “intelligent failures” need to become more common in today’s organizations. “You had a plan, you tested it, you knew what went wrong, you shared messages of failure, you learned from it, and you innovated again,” was how Rita explained the concept. My take from Rita’s talk was organizations need to be resilient and flexible — while not only being a learning organization — agreeing to gather and disseminate the tuition value from mistakes.

Nilofer Merchant, entrepreneur extraordinaire, took the conch and wonderfully hammered home the point that social is not a technology, it is a behaviour. (She actually stopped her talk mid-keynote and asked us to get social with someone beside us) Her point? The more people are allowed (and encouraged) to connect and collaborate, the greater payoff your organization will have downstream. I loved Nilofer’s message in addition to her delivery style, something I hadn’t yet experienced face-to-face. (If you haven’t watched her TED Talk, please do so. It’s a gem.)

Herminia Ibarra, a professor from Insead, gave incredible insight into the nuances of different types of leaders. From heroic, to charismatic, to visible, to individualistic, to peacetime/wartime, to collaborative, Herminia’s examples were insightful, funny and painful for their accuracy. I’ve always appreciated her work and the connections she makes between effective (and ineffective) leadership and the crisis we find ourselves in today’s organizations.

DanGPDF

Photo Credit: Kenneth Mikkelsen (@LeadershipABC)

In the lead up to this year’s conference, I was asked by Steve Denning, author of Radical Management and one of the coolest provocateurs out there, if I wanted to a) speak at the conference as part of the track he was chairing and b) if I would work with him on a position paper outlining the hopes and dreams for the Drucker Forum itself.

I delivered a talk on day two, focusing my message on three key parts.

First, there is causality between an engaged organization and much improved business metrics.

Second, FLAT ARMY is a “how to” manual for organizations to achieve the open operating culture that can mitigate the issues found in today’s organizations.

And third, I used the platform to explain how a corporate culture change at TELUS (my place of work since 2008) helped to increase employee engagement from 53% to 83% while improving countless business metrics in parallel.

The bottom line? If you create an inspired, empowered, authentic and collaborative organization, an innovative, customers first output will be the result. This leads to what so many organizations yearn for … improved business AND non-business results.

The paper we worked on (with Bill Fisher, Haydn Christensen and Nick Dixson) was posted to Forbes before the conference began, and in it, we posed three questions:

  • Should firms make the shift from the goal of maximizing shareholder value as measured by the current stock price to a principal focus on adding value to those for whom the work is being done?
  • Should organizations make the shift from the practices of hierarchical bureaucracy to the collaborative leadership and management practices of the Creative Economy?
  • Should organizations make a shift from metrics that reflect narrow financial goals to metrics that reflect contributions to prosperity of individuals, organizations and society, for achieving both purpose and profit?

Whilst the aforementioned questions were not answered at the Drucker Forum outright, I left thinking I wasn’t alone.

From the various speakers, to the attendees I spoke with, to several meaningful and deep conversations, — it’s evident everyone is (for the most part) on the same page.

We may not be at a turning point but we’re all acutely aware of the crisis we’ve gotten ourselves into.

The questions found above were met with unanimous agreement from a Drucker Forum choir of voices that sang, “but of course, we need to change” in collective harmony. Given we were in Vienna, it was fitting. We left the conference with an agreement on the ‘what’. Phew. Now we need action on the ‘how’. And we need it ASAP.

As Clay Christensen remarked in the closing comments to the conference,

“Let’s take the best of each other’s ideas and languages, — our ways of communicating — share, focus and then standardize to make change.”

Hallelujah. That sounded like a mission to prosperity indeed. (There’s that word again, only this time there were violas playing.)

Note: originally published at Huffington Post

9Comments

  • bosbachmobi / 19 November 2014 2:03

    Dan,
    great post and summary of what the world should have listened too and much to few actually did (including me on the lifestream).
    Some thought’s I’d like to share (and maybe add) knowing that some (all) might be trivial and obsolete.

    First: As may examples show, in order to do the “great transformation” it’s a) a long way to go and b) it needs many many small steps to take. That’s like it’s been for HCL as it most likely was for TELUS and for all the many others. Therefore I’m happy that we are at least at a stage where we understand there actually is a crisis. That’s what (so far) many people/CEO (at least here in good old Germany) still deny.

    Second: I wondered if – in order to get current “managers” and “leaders” to acknowledge the need for change – we should leverage “old” ideas, e.g. measuring KPI’s – and start pointing at more relevant KPI’s visualizing e.g. better communication, increasing transparency etc. – or the “form follows function” statement by openly addressing that the function (of people in organizations) as changed so the form (organizational structures) should follow.

    Third: Is it really single leaders we need? Looking at all the developments and discussions around leadership my conclusion would be that there is a need a) to support managers in order to become leaders, b) support “all other” employees as well to be come leaders, c) establish an understanding “temporary leadership in/by everyone” and (most important) d) support current managers/organizational leaders to become facilitators and enablers of talent, potential and energy of the people in the organization.

    Fourth: we definitely need a broader exchange of examples, ideas, language, hints, tools and initiate mutual learning and everything that might help to understand where we are, where society is currently heading for (at least what we fear) and how we might be able to give it a new direction. So why don’t we “simply” create opportunities like online open space events / jams? One (or two, if you include the current MIX Mashup) 2 day conference once a year definitely is not enough isn that fast changing world. We need to work on this, questions is who (i.e. what group of people) becomes the nucleus and takes the first steps.

    Fifth (and thus coming to an end) – more a question: How can we “make” those people – and I’ve (stream-seen) many of them in Vienna these days – that are able to see the bigger picture become those urgently needed facilitators of change in an world-wide scope.? While there are many in Canada (and the US) here in Good?) old continental Europe are definitely to few.

    Thanks for sharing your impressions and observations from the GPDF14 and thanks for being one of those seeing the need for change.

    Kind regards
    Guido

    • Dan Pontefract / 1 December 2014 2:21

      I’m with you Guido. We need more than talk, we need action. Perhaps the EFMD could be a catalyst of change for all of Europe?

      • bosbachmobi / 12 December 2014 10:05

        I can hardly imagine, that the EFMD might become a catalyst for change, nevertheless I’ll try to discuss this when I’m in Feb 2015 for an event at the University of St. Gallen. I’ve already tried to bring the topic in this week into a session at one of the smaller (private) Universities in Cologne, but there’s plenty of resignation with the students there.

        Key questions is how to “seed” courage to the decision takers i.e. how to get them into the discussions an thus to open up their minds. That’s where we (here in Europe) need more of those brilliant key note speakers that give a strong impulse and inspiration to those listening.

        • Dan Pontefract / 12 December 2014 2:12

          I look forward to hearing the outcome of the Feb 2015 event.

  • paul4innovating / 19 November 2014 4:11

    Hi Dan,

    Enjoyed your summary, it made me feel depressed! Then it sort of lifted up for day two, must be the influence of more women getting into the debate.

    Events like these I feel, “oh I wish I had attended that”, followed by that bucket of cold water as the personal agenda’s seem to take over, often deep thinking is never able to rise up to broad thinking and the ‘higher need’ gets lost as each contributor dives his own view and not come back to where it fits into the bigger needs, Where it needs accommodating, adjusting, merging with others. I often wonder why conference organizers don’t shape content into stated position papers that get the hammering out and combining into a conference document that becomes the action to be taken. Maybe most would not turn up, if they had their papers and presentations critiqued by their peer group, instead of just being listened too.

    As an aside the shrill of Gary Hamel has always been his problem, if he could only dial it down a bit (well actually a lot) we might take more note of much of the good insights he does have. Roger Martin seems to be emerging or liberated a little more and that is good news. Still that was not my point, it is so easy to get caught up in personalities and we miss the larger point.

    You hit on it at the very end- If and the if needs validating That “all are on the same page” then instead of allowing the wagons to move on to the next Drucker theme for 2015, it might be really useful to REVISIT all that was offered at this conference, if they were actually on ‘the same page’ and bring these collections of thoughts and in the papers submitted before to turn this into an agenda that does get everyone not just on the same page but talking from the same specific page as the way forward.

    Yes it is partly Clayton Christensen’s talking the same language, the exchanging of ideas and getting to the really hard work of forging, yes forging together, for the next years conference the common approach that all attending actively works upon to deliver (and not talk) on transformation. The agreement of what needs to be focused upon in resolution and practical application.

    Thanks for the summary.

    • Dan Pontefract / 1 December 2014 2:19

      I’ve yet to see a conference revisit the themes from the previous year, unless it’s more like a ‘Summit’ or ‘working group’ (e.g. Davos, various UN councils, etc.) because they’re treated more like a commitment over time, versus a one-off event. Sage and salient point though. Thanks for suggesting.

  • Gail Severini / 11 December 2014 5:56

    Thank you for the summary Dan! Really appreciated hearing your first hand commentary and reflections.
    I am working my way through the content provided on your post and their website. So far I have watched Gary Hamel’s speech three times now (yes “frenetic” – I’m okay with that – and compelling). He offered 4 things that we need to power the “how” – models, motivation, mindsets, migration paths – to kill bureaucracy. I thought this lined up with Flat Army, no?

    It seems to me that the ideas presented at the conference are paradigm shifts that require 3-5-10 year flexible strategy (a la Rita McGrath). In fact, if one listed and considered the dependencies that each of these paradigm shifts have on one another one might begin to map a path across this complex and dynamic terrain. This is, of course, really the “what” – the strategy of change. Very interested to read more of the resources you shared.

    As you point out, ‘how’ is left essentially unexplored. Maybe thinking about strategy is still sexier than delivering performance, although Hamel’s phrasing around developing an “evolutionary advantage” strikes me as the leadership imperative of the century.

    This takes me to two points. Firstly, I fail to understand why more organizations aren’t overcoming lip service and dedicating resources to re-inventing their transformation capability (from culture to strategy formulation to execution capability).
    There is no sense of urgency in many of our large organizations (pillars of our economies) today – perhaps due in part to systemic issues like executive tenure, compensation and shareholder pressures that need to be dealt with separately.
    And, as pointed out, this gives new entrants the opportunity to drive inordinate value – however, it is at great risk to capital, workforce productivity and the economic stability of communities – all of which might generate more economic cost than the success generates. But now I am off on the macroeconomic tract.

    Secondly, as I see it, the “how” of change is multi-faceted but failure usually boils down to over reliance on simplifications. I am astounded to still see outdated research (like ‘70% of change fails’ – OMG that was never even research!) in mainstream business media and shallow pitches like ‘change leadership is more important than change management’ or ‘culture is the solution’. Yes, there is something to all of these slices of insight but none alone will be sufficient! It seems ridiculous to have to say it but organizations need some of each of these ideas, customized and further developed, and they need a more comprehensive and cohesive approach. So while some organizations and associations are making incremental steps to focus on one or two components they will reach the train station a couple of decades after the train has already left. They are building partial and tactical solutions for problems that are complex and dynamic – and have already changed. Fortunately for the executives in charge this may not be uncovered during their tenure … but maybe it will. It depends on the pace of change – something I would not stake my reputation on.

    Seems to me that organizations need to put their money where their mouth is and commit to Transformation Offices with roots that integrate the what and the how with the entire organization (sound familiar?).

    This presents an enormous opportunity for leaders with vision and fortitude – leaders capable of integrative thinking (a la Roger Martin).

    The question is: who will step up?

    Why do I bother to write you with this? Because it matters to all of us – we should all get up to speed on these issues – write about
    them, debate them. It makes us all wiser. Competitive organizations are the lifeblood of our economies and therefore our communities – we are all vested, whether we know it or not. Thank you for continuing to beat the drum. I am with you.

    • Dan Pontefract / 12 December 2014 2:17

      This was brilliant, “Competitive organizations are the lifeblood of our economies and therefore our communities” … indeed, I agree wholeheartedly.

      Why would an organization step up? Unclear, but I suspect there is no ‘burning platform’ in which to do so. If various governments (or the UN) were to step in and suggest changes to the capitalist model that is MSV, we might have a burning platform. But for now — as is evidence with what was approved in the US House yesterday, and additional powers to the financial institutions — it is a case of status quo for the foreseeable future.

  • Pino Villa / 11 March 2015 9:22

    Dan great post. I personally believe that the answer to ‘how’ can be found within System Thinking , System Dynamics, becoming a learning and viable organization. Stafford Beer Viable System Model whereby the focus is on viability ; Any system operates in a specific environment which will change over time; if the system is keep it viability (overcome viability decay) it must evolve according to changes happening in its environment. The VSM framework provides a good baseline to address the ‘how’ to sustain viability ; address innovation, adaptability, balance , efficiency and effectiveness.
    The key problem is how to make VSM , System Dynamics practical usable for main stream use.

Want to leave a comment? I'd love to hear from you. Cheers, dp.