Cheesejob II

On September 11, 2009, in All, JohnSumser.com, by John Sumser

CheeseJob II

Every 21st Century organization is a publishing company. It’s not just marketing, recruiting, sales or the investor relations department. Web technology, like termites, is eating out the foundations of traditional management structures.

The issue gets sidestepped when you try to think of it as a generational issue in the workplace. Transparent interactions happening all over the place without much in the way of management guidance is to the 21st Century as factories were to the 20th. It’s where the value is created, not a leaking sieve.

Did agricultural workers dismiss time in the factory as wasted. There was ongoing tension between the generations of technology. Some historians think that was the driving motivation for the American Civil War. There is today. This isn’t a difference between parents and children. It’s a new way of doing stuff.

Changing the way things get done to incorporate new ideas and technologies is hard. The early attempts are always humorous in hindsight. The first horseless carriages weren’t immediately understandable as cars. Heaters, windshields, radios, cruise control, ‘bun warmers’ and rear window defrosters.

The first problem involved getting everyone to want a car. Henry Ford moved the question along by paying his workers well enough so that they could afford one. Universal ownership took a couple of generations.

With web communications, there is now broad acceptance in the user base. It’s nearly universal in the west and getting that way in what we used to call the developing world. The last bastion of 20th Century thinking is the organization.

Like feudal kingdoms, organizations have a staying power that exceeds their utility. In other words, the capital required to build a company is generally held in conservative hands. The larger the operation, the more likely this is true. Organizations use outdated management models, not because they work but because they used to.

It’s terrifying to understand that the old information channels have decayed to the point that they are no longer useful. In order to effectively communicate with vendors, customers, partners, investors, employees and the neighbourhood, organizations are learning to proactively take responsibility for building information based relationships. It’s not marketing, recruiting, sales or customer service, it’s a new discipline that uses reciprocal intimate communications to build relationships with stakeholders.



 
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