Stephen M. Dent, James H. Krefft, «Powerhouse Partners : A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results»

Posted By: Alexpal
Stephen M. Dent, James H. Krefft, «Powerhouse Partners : A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results»

Stephen M. Dent, James H. Krefft, «Powerhouse Partners : A Blueprint for Building Organizational Culture for Breakaway Results»
Davies-Black Publishing | ISBN 0891061959 | 2004 Year | CHM | 2,53 Mb | 248 Pages


People once instinctively understood and practiced the art of connectivity—to the land, to nature, and to each other. As human cultures evolved, we slowly forgot the basic partnering skills that allowed us to survive ice ages and other hostile planetary environments. From simple organisms to complex organizations, nature has instilled lessons that businesses must relearn if they are to thrive in the new economic environment of the digital age. People survive and grow by propagating connections to each other, to the world around us. In today's economic environment connectivity is critical for any business to become a true Powerhouse Partner.

We knew it before the wheel, before agriculture, before cave paintings. For millennia people have recognized and appreciated the value of partnering. Long ago we learned that to survive we needed to work together and be loyal to one another. We succeeded as hunters and gatherers and shared in the bounty yielded by our willingness to partner and commit to one another. In those early days trust was everything because failing to trust companions, or deceiving them in any way, could result in starvation. It was as simple as that. Greed might shake the tribe, but disloyalty would shatter it. Connections formed the foundation of civilization and accelerated our ascendancy as a species. However, our progress has often been thwarted by our moving one step forward and two steps back. One of the principal causes of our connections beginning to unravel was the introduction of "scientific" approaches to management. Call it "workplace rationalism."

During the Age of Enlightenment, philosophers, scientists, and other scholars began to take stuff apart to understand better how the universe works. Like tinkering three-year-olds tugging on the loose threads of a sock, these academics began to yank at the connections that linked people together. Metaphysicians struggled to dissect the unseeable, physicians dismembered cadavers, and physicists sliced and diced particles in a quest for the building blocks of matter—and life. Disconnection seemed to proffer stepping-stones to enlightenment. Pulling on threads supplied us with answers to gnawing questions. What are the nine orders of angels? How does adrenalin drive our behavior? Why does a boson have zero or integral spin? Yet the truth, it appeared, was always but one more layer down or deep. But like Peer Gynt in Ibsen's play, we will forever be frustrated in our search for an onion's core.

With the Industrial Age, the scientific discipline of disconnecting assaulted the workplace. Breaking out and isolating individual processes and tasks drove industrial productivity. Control of material resources and specialization set the stage for a scarcity mentality. In the Industrial Age, access to raw materials drove imperialism as nations saw their own reserves depleted and sought control over new resources in distant lands. Nations went to war over rights to dig mines, establish plantations, and clear-cut forests. But that era of scarcity is rapidly being eclipsed by the surging vigor of the digital age. Information has become the primary source of production, and hot links are everywhere. Human societies and technologies are now linked and overlap in complex and unexpected ways. Thai rice farmers talk to their families via wireless telephone from their fields, while Mexican auto manufacturing managers download the latest technical schematic from their design center in Germany.

This ever-thickening gumbo of cultural and technical integration calls for business leaders to rethink the models they have been using to manage their enterprises. In today's culturally complex and technically intricate, nothing-ever-stays-the-same-for-very-long global marketplace, organization leaders can no longer use governance and management models based on twentieth-century military-industrial architectures, hierarchies designed more to disconnect than to connect. Hierarchies restrict movement, limit speed, exert control, and deflect risk. Like our nomadic ancestors who banded together to hunt and gather, we must relearn the art, the skills, and the power of connectivity.

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