Management and the governance of organizations that emerged from the previous industrial revolution owe their rise to the economics of mass production, highly predictable, focused on yield and a highly processed mechanical design. Today, the ’30 glorieuses’ seem far away and the level of commitment at work is dramatically low. A five-year plan resembles more of a stylistic exercise, and younger generations no longer dream of large corporations, who were past champions of capitalism.
A double tendency, which could very well only be one, is gaining ground in our globalized society.
Firstly, vertical management, based on subordination and authority of certain individuals, adapted to an organization which is seen as a “machine”, does a poor job of recognizing the entrepreneurial capacities, the initiative and talent of each individual on the one hand, and the ability to put their skills to use at the service of a team and to collaborate on the other.
Secondly, the company as a tool for creating value can no longer be summed up in a financial statement and a balance sheet. What is its raison d’être, its systemic social and environmental contribution?
This double tendency towards new generation managerial models and systemic management of an organization beyond the financial dimension is, in my opinion, part of the same movement.
I perceive a growing dynamic of reconnection to life:
The new generation company reinvents its business models, reduces its negative impacts, it is based on regenerative principles whenever possible, and moves away from a linear or exponential logic of production quantity and programmed obsolescence. It favors economic models of functionality, seizing every opportunity to connect with the living, the only force capable of regenerating itself. Adaptive by design, it welcomes technological innovation as an opportunity to move away from linear reasoning and to emancipate society.
The most attractive companies already have everything going for them:
We are observing the transition from a Newtonian mode of operating characteristic of the “machine” organization to a quantum mode of living, the passage from a simplified representation of reality to the ability to embrace complexity, through permanent adaptation.
The consubstantial link between management methods and impact can be explained by this newfound logic of the human and living being at the center of organizational concerns.
In quantum physics, which governs the rules of nature, everything is both a distinct entity and part of a whole. The individual is a talent that expresses itself with varying degrees of efficiency within a team, and the organization is a cell within the greater ecosystem that is either more or less beneficial for the ecosystem.
Quantum physics reveals the essence of nature, long expressed by Chinese Taoist philosophy: “separation is an illusion”; everything is connected to everything.
At the final stage of the evolution of organizations (the turquoise holistic level of the dynamic spiral, or the teal of Frédéric Laloux), the notion of competition is fading in favor of interacting actors, aware that their social capital depends on their synergistic relationship within a greater network, the ecosystem.
Our challenge now is no longer just to slow down the degradation of work engagement and the environmental impacts of our activities, but to improve our societies and ecosystems, or in other words: to regenerate them.
Author : Luc Bretones, Founder at NextGen