The business challenges of the 20th Century have been centered on organizing labor and equipment to produce more profit for shareholders. The organization and optimization of processes, people and information became the default mental models of business leaders from around the globe.
The 20th Century business model led management to believe that efficiency increased margins, improved productivity, enhanced competitive advantages which enabled growth opportunities. Leaders picked their markets, dissected their customers and sold products/services they believed the buyers would buy. Then they battled over market share with competitors and the one who gained the largest share was declared the winner whether they earned it or bought it.
At the turn of the 21st Century a funny thing happened. The internet began connecting everyone to everything and the information that 20 years ago was only available to the richest billionaire became available to one third of the entire planet.
Everyone began learning and growing in the knowledge of how technology collects and distributes knowledge faster than anything we’ve ever seen. As a result the many want to change old mental models created by the few about organizing people and processes for profit to organizing people and ideas for the purpose of creating value.
New Value Comes From The Outside
The internet has unleashed the power of the collective mind. The collective mind has an attitude of openness, eagerness, and the lack of preconceptions. In other words there is no such thing as the status quo rather a view that anything and everything can be transformed for a better purpose. These views are considered as seeing things from the outside. This collective mind isn’t defined by any specific social profile rather it has become the framework of the social philosophy reflecting a shift from business as usual to business as unusual. Unusual means all old assumptions have to be thrown out to make room in order to learn new possibilities. A tough challenge for those stuck in old thinking.
There can be no rules to organizing for the purpose of creating value. There can only be attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions in order for everyone to view possibilities like a child discovering to walk. In order to learn how to create an organization of perpetual value creation in the 21st Century you have to learn how to unlearn what you think you know so you can then discover what you ought to know then do it over and over every single day.
By the way, you don’t need a formal organization contained in a building to create value and the only capital you really need is intangible capital.