This post is a modified version of an article I wrote. Some patriotic leanings are evident …
“A culture is an organization’s collective mind-set – its beliefs, intentions, and memories”, said Mark Youngblood in his 1997 book, Life at the Edge of Chaos: Creating the Quantum Organization. “Organizations that will survive and prosper in the twenty-first century will be fast, flexible, responsive, resilient, creative, balanced, and full of vitality.” He calls them [these companies] Quantum Organizations. “Quantum Organizations, in direct contrast with the machine-like design of industrial era companies, operate using the principles of living systems. They are organic webs of life: dynamic, interconnected networks of relationships that are constantly learning, adapting, and evolving.”
Quantum or not, an organizational model based on his prophetic understanding of the new millennium business world is urgently needed today. A key ingredient for building the firm of the future is the setting up of a culture that can evolve, sustain and grow. Relationships, learning, adapting, evolving – simple to use words – not so simple to understand or, for that matter, apply in a particular context. For one, the mechanistic worldview [what became the order in the Industrial era] suggests the need for rigid structures. Today’s realities are quite different. Relationships are being formed without any physical contact: very deep relationships are being founded on areas of common interest.
In my opinion, the Internet has promoted globalisation as a natural way of doing business in today’s world. It has also made “individualised” infrastructure ubiquitously available. Which means that ways of working have changed from mono to network. As a natural outcome, all monolithic organisations are morphing into networked enterprises; all solo endeavours are seeking interdependence.
I wonder if this could point towards building a business culture, especially valuable from my point of view, for small entrepreneurial ventures. Building a culture consciously, methodically and based on a value system that reflects India’s ethos, history and diversity. I come from a generation that has taken pride in the American ‘twang’ and has been celebrating capitalism, without quite understanding that it won’t work in its yankee avatar in India. Do we understand our own contexts? It’s high time we did. Continue reading “Innovation 101: The business of Culture”