Some interesting ideas emerging from recent posts in other blogs regarding a panel discussion held recently at Brainstorm, the annual conference jointly run by FORTUNE and the Aspen Institute.
The full text of the Fortune Magazine article has been posted by Robert Paterson on his Blog, and commented on by Jonnie Moore on his Blog.
I found the perspectives of the different CEOs etc refreshing really ?? that they were able to succinctly describe what the new organisational model is ?? or will become! Key characteristics of that model that I could identify in the article include
- networked structures – with individual members of the network focusing on their core business and outsourcing the rest
- democratisation – made possible by the transparent exchange of ideas via open communication channels (eg Blogs!)
- balance of power shifting from management to employee
- process oriented architecture (as opposed to top-down systems) – promoting collaborative approaches to develop products in shorter periods of time
- Perception of the “big company” that is really a veneer over a whole range of smaller, interlinked businesses and enterprises.
What I need to do is spend some time pondering on what this means for the organisation of schools ?? if this level of democracy is to be a characteristic of the commercial and social environment, then we??ve got some pretty significant ??catch-up?? to do in the education sector in the way we conceive of and organise schooling.
I particularly liked Morgan??s comment: ??We need to change our thinking from “command and control” to “coordinate and cultivate.?? – this is consistent with my own preference for thinking about schooling in ‘organic’ ways, using a ‘growth metaphor’ to describe the structure, purpose, operation etc.
It does strike me, however, that it??s easy to think about coordination at a local level ?? but the real need is for coordination at a national/international level ?? and that will require a commitment to developing standards, partnerships and letting go of traditional power bases (control).
As a sobering endpoint to this entry, the comment from Jim Breyer [a venture capitalist from Accel Partners] rings true with the situation we are facing here in NZ:
- “My comment is related to my role as board member at Wal-Mart. Even if decentralization and localization is the right business ethic and strategy, corporate boards and CEOs need to sign off on financial statements. Sarbanes-Oxley [the congressional act that requires companies to document their actions much more carefully] has pushed it the other way. It forces boards and CEOs to take much more of a command-and-control perspective, when in fact a decentralized perspective is the right way to build a business.”