Why The Game of Business Needs A New Deck of Cards

by Jay Deragon on 10/08/2013

deck of cards

Business has been a game of cards.  The game has been measured by how much money you had at the end of each round. The deck of cards have been designed as a “numbers” game and markets were ruled by end results.

Markets had been created by titans of business and capitalism fueled mass consumption. The rules of the game were set by rulers in high places who made sure businesses played by their rules and their prices.

The house, rulers of businesses, knew the odds were in their favor as long as they controlled the rules of their game and the players of the game followed their rules. Markets behaved by the rules of the game and the decks have been stacked in favor of business rulers.

Buyers have had little power, employees have been considered expenses to be cut for the sake of profit and suppliers were chosen based on price. The BIG were able to buy political power that gave them favorable position in the game and all the little people paid over and over to play in this game with little influence over the rules. Everything seemed fine for about 100 years. The deck just got shuffled every once and a while.

Then a funny thing happened. The little people began to learn more about the unfairness of the game and the ego-system that controlled it. The internet revealed lots of information that was previously unknown about organizational practices, insider trading, corporate corruption and how the game of business and the deck of cards have been stacked for the benefit of the few.  And then all the little people began to collaborate around building a new kind of deck to play their game with a new set of rules measured and built around intangible capital and not simply money.

The First Intangible Needed Was Trust

Charles Handy wrote “Markets rely on rules and laws, but those rules and laws in turn depend on truth and trust. Conceal truth or erode trust, and the game becomes so unreliable that no one will want to play,” Trust is fragile. Like a piece of china, once cracked it is never quite the same. And people’s trust in business, and those who lead it, is today cracking.”

If you haven’t notice there is an entire generation of consumers who are questioning every practice, assumption, rule, business model and even the laws behind such things not only because they don’t trust the old business rules and rulers but because they believe it is time to change the rules and rulers. You see the trust lost from the errors of the past can only be rebuilt if we allow the next generation to rebuild it by reinventing and recreating the rules needed to sustain the one principle that enables any business to thrive.

That principle is Trust.

The new game of business in the 21st century is being built on a deck of cards where players exchange intangible value for the benefit of all stakeholders. The results are gained by maximizing human, strategic, structural and strategic capital which are not measured by money but by value.

The end results are greater than playing the game of business with a deck of cards where rules and rulers simply measure tangible results as the means for counting winners and losers.  We’ve played that game for over 100 years and now the people want to play the game with a new deck, new rules and new rulers who understand the result of this intangible thing called trust.

Markets grow from an exchange of intangible capital created to enhance the real value people seek not from an end result we call money.  The game of business, the rules and the deck of cards have had it backwards for way too long.

{ 1 comment }

Matthew J Alston October 10, 2013 at 10:07 am

Trust is the first step to any relationship. Consumers are not a consumable resource they are all relationships that must be respected or as you say, “The game will change”

The melt down of 2008 when worthless securities were sold world wide by people that knew full well they had made loans to those that could never pay them back once the teaser starter rates indexed up is a simple example of what is wrong.

We are all living in one world. one economy, one community and are inseparably connected. The foolish belief of competition, us and them, and self interest making business decisions is perpetuating a scarcity mentality and those that have great resources have them at the expense of others.

The lack of trust in business and government is a simple statement by the consumer that they can clearly see that their real interests and needs are not being met or even considered.

There is a HUGE mountain of debt on the backs of students, consumers, and citizens. Students are paying back loans to go to college that financed the budget of the college for the school years they attended. Yet many will find no high paying job that will justify that expense. This is a bubble that is reaching a critical point like the housing crisis of 2008.

Consumers have been sold the American dream and now we buy things we do not need, put them on credit to feed the bank, then store these unneeded things in a storage locker feeding that industry and have become indentured financial slaves to the finance industry giving up our freedom of choice and working for the rest of our lives to feed the monster for fear of losing what we have built up. Reminds me of the phrase, “Catch 22″

The government of this country and most others has enslaved their population with their portion of the national debt.

If you look closely at each of these the underlying mechanism is the same. A small group makes the choices and the population is left to pay off the debt.

Does anyone else see something wrong with this process? It is not sustainable

If you study Fiat Currencies which are the basis of every currency now in circulation you will see that currency is created by the central bank printing money on paper and the government then signs a debt obligation to the central bank for the face value of the money. This is something from nothing.

The trap is that to pay the interest on the previous debts you need to create new money, creating new money requires someone taking on new debt. There is a limit to the amount of debt the world will a be willing to accept just as there is a limit to the amount of debt any business or individual is willing to accept or sign for. The world wide sovereign debt crisis is the result of overspending reaching the point where no one is willing to take on more debt.

The game has already changed, “The old rules have crashed the system”.

The need to see the world as an interrelated network of people that all have a voice is going to push back on the system of centralized control that brought us to brink of world wide financial crisis.

If people begin to do business with each other on a basis of fair exchange and they stop using debt the system will cut of the parasitic money players out of the loop and they will lose control of the engine.

Look at the amount of money spent each year paying interest on debt. If that was not there the cost of everything would go down 50%, people could live their lives free of being slaves to a bank, and they would have time to kind and respectful of others.

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