The Fourth Wave Mostly intangible assets, emphasizing the quality of life
THE NEED TO REDEFINE corporate wealth is a consequence of the corporation’s moving out of its current parochial and Second Wave view of itself and its role in the world into the larger Third and Fourth Wave roles we described in the previous chapter. As business assumes increasing responsibility for the whole, new definitions of wealth will be created, ownership will be reconfigured, assets will increase in variety, and new ways of measuring performance will be adopted.
Wealth in the Second Wave is defined as physical assets and is evaluated in terms of the traditional balance sheet. The focus is short term, for example, increasing earnings 5 percent this quarter over last quarter’s performance. Despite much talk about the value of creativity and innovation, little or no concrete support and encouragement is given to those workers who manifest these qualities. This discrepancy is due in large part to the fact that the biggest drivers of corporate business today are product quality and lowering costs (via “back to basics”) (Land & Jarman 1992). When driven top-down, such concerns are antithetical to creativity. They tend to lock people into fear, which closes down their creative potential. Rooted in the conventional, Second Wave corporations provide little room or appreciation for the iconoclast and hence little opportunity to benefit from this potential asset.
I once worked in a large hospital system in the southeastern part of the United States when it was forced to respond to the threat of managed healthcare—a phenomenon that swept healthcare in the United States during the 1990s. The hospital system’s response was to merge with a rival hospital in another part of the city. The merger, billed as “a merger of equals,” was an extremely difficult undertaking, and the two institutions eventually de-merged. One remarkable lesson I learned from the experience can be found in the “story of the turkeys.”
In the midst of the largest of cost-cutting initiatives, a decision was made to eliminate the traditional distribution of holiday turkeys to every employee. Because the merger would double the size of the newly formed health system, the cost of the turkeys would double, and because the other hospital had no comparable practice, it was deemed an unnecessary expense that could be eliminated. A few dissenting voices from the senior leadership team protested; however, finances were the most important criterion used to determine what stayed and what was eliminated.
My reflections are on two films by Francois TrufFaut: Uhomme qui aimait lesfemmes (The Man Who Loved Women’, 1977) and La chambre verte (‘The Green Room’, 1978), produced within a year of each other. At a first viewing, they seem to be two very different works, La chambre verte, dramatic and painful, is based on a sombre short story by Henry James, The Altar of the Dead’, and on two other of his works, ‘The Beast in the Jungle’ and ‘The Friends of Friends’. It is the story of Julian Davenne, a Virtuoso’ in necrology, and his passionate loving obsession for one woman alone—his wife who died young—even after her death and until his own death. The other film, Uhomme qui aimait lesfemmes, is a delightfully ironic comedy of the autobiographical type, in which the protagonist continually falls in love with every woman he meets, and in which there is the hint of a delightful touch of foot and leg fetishism.
Both films, however, in spite of the great differences in language, style and narrative, basically tell the same story of the incapacity to love and to make one’s own internal impulse coincide with the encounter with a real person. The protagonist of Uhomme qui aimait lesfemmes does not know how to distinguish or to choose, in a giddy erotic round of seduction, unfaithfulness and disillusion in which the illusion is repeatedly rekindled. In La chambre verte, Julian is imprisoned in a repetitive trap of an opposite kind. Tenaciously faithful to the image of one woman alone, he cannot conceive of a love object unless it is eternally identical to itself. Whether in a state of immobility or in flight, both characters are living outside of real time, enslaved by an obsession.
In Photoshop, creating that same effect is foolproof, easy, and, naturally, fun! Here’s how to do it.
With an image and your Layers window open
(Window→Layers), click on your background layer and drag it down to the Create New Layer icon next to the Trash Can icon. Now you have two identical layers, one on top of the other.
Activate the top layer by clicking on it in the Layers window, and then select Filter→Blur→Motion
Blur. You can choose the amount of blur by moving the Distance slider (or by typing in a number in the Distance window). What’s more, you control the direction of the blur by clicking on and rotating the Angle wheel (or by typing a number in the Angle window).
Because in real life the woman was moving from the top right of the frame to the bottom left of the frame, I swiveled the Angle wheel so that the blur would be in that direction.
After you click OK, the entire top layer will be blurred.
After your top layer is blurred, click on the Add
Layer Mask icon at the bottom of the Layers window. That adds a layer mask to the right of the image. Click on that layer mask to activate it.