11 Slices
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1. Hallmarks of a Changing World

Herman Maynard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

HALLMARKS OF CHANGE

Shift in Consciousness

Disenchantment with Scientism

New (Inner) Sources of Authority and Power

Respiritualization of Society

Decline in Materialism

Spreading Political and Economic Democratization

Movement Beyond Nationality

 

TO MEET THE CHALLENGES posed by a world that is changing at an ever-increasing pace, we must let go of values, beliefs, and practices that have or shortly will become anachronistic and reformulate new ones that are congruent with changed circumstances. The first step in this process is to become acquainted with the changes that are occurring. Because change is omnipresent, it is especially important to identify those trends that promise transformative change. In this chapter we describe seven trends that we believe underlie the emergence of a new worldview.

Increasing numbers of people around the world are concluding that consciousness is primary, that the mind or spirit has a reality comparable to material objects (Harman 1988; Renesch 1991; Cook 1991; Rothschild 1991). Many have had transformative experiences (life-changing dreams, journeys inward that reveal new vistas, near-death experiences, series of intuitive knowings [Porter, n.d.]) that have led them to realize they are more than their physical body and logical mind—that there are levels of reality beyond what can be seen, touched, tasted, and smelled.

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10. Business in the Twenty-First Century

Herman Maynard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE FOURTH WAVE CORPORATION

Exemplar for Other Institutions

Global Citizen Acting Locally

Advocate of the Living Economy

Committed to Serve

Community of Wellness

Model of Environmental Concern

Pioneer in Appropriate Technologies

Led by Biopoliticians

 

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING VISIONS of the new corporation:

As an exemplar for other institutions in society. See us becoming aware of the contemporary shift in consciousness and working to foster it, especially recognizing the value of intuition in business and using it extensively.

As a global citizen acting locally, while thinking globally. See business responding to the pleas for democratization of the international economic order and moving to implement it. Envision the corporation sharing responsibility with its constituencies in the Third Wave and taking responsibility for the Earth as a whole and working to heal it in the Fourth Wave.

As an advocate of the living economy, practicing social and resource accounting. See business reaffirming the value of its intellectual capital, thereby boosting creativity and discovering a host of new strengths within its ranks that constantly spin off new businesses. See us working toward new forms of ownership in the future and achieving global prominence for it.

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3. A New Role for Business: Global Stewardship

Herman Maynard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

CORPORATE ROLE

The Second Wave
Maximize profits

The Third Wave
Create value

The Fourth Wave
Act as global steward

 

THE UNITED STATES and the world as a whole are facing major crises. In this critical period, we endure political candidates whose electoral success is due to thirty-second sound bites and cleverly crafted television appearances—formats that ensure popularity contests rather than elections of transformative leaders who will give pressing local, national, and global problems the attention they need. We also find few who are widely recognized as transformative leaders in churches, schools, colleges, or social institutions.

Where might we look to fill this need for transformative leadership? The answer, suggested by many futurists and consultants, is both surprising and inspiring: businesspeople will become more prominent as global and transformative leaders in the future.

The business of business is not only business. In recent decades, business has emerged as the dominant institution in global culture (Hawken 1992). The other institutions of society—political, educational, religious, social—have a decreasing ability to offer effective leadership: their resources limited, their following fragmented, their legitimacy increasingly questioned, politicians, academics, priests, and proselytizers have neither the resources nor the flexibility to mount an effective response to the manifold challenges we are facing. Business, by default, must begin to assume responsibility for the whole.

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9. Leadership in the Era of Biopolitics

Herman Maynard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

CORPORATE LEADERSHIP ROLE

The Second Wave
Business leader

The Third Wave
Participant in dialogues on
societal and global welfare

The Fourth Wave
Global leader and biopolitician

 

THE ENVIRONMENTAL CRISIS, recent advances in biotechnology, and global democratization are propelling us into the biopolitical era. As we make the transition to this new era, business will play new leadership roles and assume new responsibilities. Here we focus on the qualities and responsibilities of our corporate leaders as they move out of the Second Wave to take on their global tasks in the biopolitical arena.

Biopolitics has been defined as the exercise of control over the future of life (Rifkin 1983, 237). As a type of politics, it is an amalgam of the usual elements of politics—power, connection, and uncertainty (Anderson 1987)—set in a wider context. In biopolitics, power is the ability to produce change in ecosystems as well as in corporate headquarters, city hall, or Washington. Connection refers to networks, or circles of personal contacts. In a biopolitical context, these go beyond people to reflect the ecological law that “everything is connected to everything else,” that humans are connected to other living things and to living systems. Uncertainty is a feature of all forms of politics, since humans are free beings and hence unpredictable. As conditions in the world’s ecosystems become more stressed, uncertainty grows, making decision making more difficult at the very time when it is becoming more urgent.

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5. Evolving Forms of Corporate Structure

Herman Maynard Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

CORPORATE STRUCTURE

The Second Wave
Hierarchy, matrix, business unit

The Third Wave
Team-value

The Fourth Wave
Community

 

FROM A SECOND WAVE business perspective, no significant change can be understood unless one looks at the structure of how business is conducted. Organizational structure supplies the building blocks of business activity; it fixes the mind-set from which change is evaluated. In the Third and Fourth Waves, by contrast, organizational structure will be a consequence of business activity. To show how this transformation will come about, we first look at contemporary Second Wave models of organizational structure.

Second Wave companies, especially the large and very large corporations, are committed to hierarchical models of organizational structure.

The traditional hierarchy, with its centralized, top-down control and staff organized to serve the boss, was based on the presumption that managers know more than their subordinates. The two classes above the support staff, managers and professionals, were considered to possess fundamentally different types and amounts of knowledge than those below them in the hierarchy; and managers were to be the decisionmakers. This line of thinking, which served us well in earlier times, is no longer appropriate. Most professionals now know far more about the particulars of their products, market performance, and customers than the manager could ever hope to know. The shift in information technology and knowledge is pushing the corporation toward a fundamental change in the role of management.

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