01 February 2007

Coming Soon to a Cubicle Near You - Revolutionary Ideas About Your Corporation

It's quite delightful to point readers off to a kindred thinker. Jeff Jarvis, fresh from his meeting with the world's elites at Davos, has come to believe that

"Perhaps the most important ‘ding’ moment I had at Davos was that the powerful are, no surprise, one step behind in their understanding of the true significance of the internet: They think it is all about individual action when, in truth, it’s about collective action. And so they don’t yet see that the internet will shift power even more than they realize."
[read it all at http://www.buzzmachine.com/index.php/2007/02/01/davos07-my-big-conclusion/]

You can read my take on this same shift in a few posts at this blog, three of them here:

Vladimir Dzhuvinov has a blog through which he's working out a model that could effectively disperse power. You can find him at:

Russell Ackoff is perhaps one of the best known thinkers in management to espouse internal markets (just one of his many profound ideas), something that I'm beginning to believe will be an essential part of the dispersion of power from corporate elites to the common man. You can find information about his ideas at:

Not all of the corporate transformation talk is actually about transforming the corporation. Pamela Slim has a blog directed towards helping people to escape the cubicle farm - no longer keen to waste her energy helping corporations to transform, she's directly helping the people stuck within them. Even these actions will help to hasten a transformation of the corporation, forcing business to reconsider the role it has defined for its employees. You can find Pam's brilliant "open letter" here:

Such ideas are infectious memes. The ideological immune system of the current social system will first miss these ideas, then mock them, and then point out their flaws. But these ideas will eventually transform society. When you change the dominant institution, you invariably change all of society.

Just think about it. What if this chorus (of often harmonizing, sometimes discordant voices) is right? Maybe it's time to ask yourself what exciting things are possible if power were to disperse outwards from the elites within the corporation as they have previously done within the church, the state, and the bank. And what if this pattern of revolutions, the rise of the individual, has been the pattern of progress throughout the history of Western Civilization? And if you think about that, the meme is already in, already past your defenses. What was it Supreme Court Justice and co-inventor of Pragmatism Oliver Wendell Holmes said? “Man’s mind stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original dimension.”


Vladimir Dzhuvinov said...

I quickly went through Ackoff's blog, but couldn't find anything particular on internal markets. Do you have any specific links?

Otherwise, what can I say? The company of tomorrow is going to be a lot like the market economy and the Internet :)

Ron Davison said...

Blogs links for Ackoff? Actually, Vladimir, I learned about Ackoff's ideas regarding internal markets the old fashioned way - through one of his books. I'm pretty sure it was in The Democratic Corporation.

Vladimir Dzhuvinov said...

Yet another instance why printed books should also be made available for indexing by search engines like Google :)

Today I found a reference to this book in a paper called "Internal markets for supply chain allocation" by D. McAdams and T. Malone.

Wikipedia sometimes has good synopses of books. Unfortunately, for Ackoff's books (Wikipedia lists about 20) there weren't any :(