Given this shift, how do we manage the transition? And now that all businesses are mediated by technology, what kind of experiences must business create for customers, employees, and partners? I’m particularly fascinated by how our largest companies manage transformation of business models, talent, and technology — and let’s not forget that the five largest companies by market cap are all technology platforms. Is it time to ask what a post technology company looks like?
Business Must Lead.
John Battelle
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I’m not so sure it should or will be the large companies that lead this transition. I believe it will be citizens pioneering new organization practices in a fashion many businesses and most large corporations can’t seem to comprehend. I believe the primary reason for this lack of comprehension stems from being cemented into a particular kind of corporate hierarchy. While not always the case, symptoms of such hierarchies often reveal themselves in the form of employees being overlooked as a source of valuable input, ideas, feedback. Leading to poor workforce moral. The best leaders sincerely trust their followers and themselves enough to co-cooperatively tackle any issue together. Succeed together and fail together. Lead along side, not from above.

Another common issue arrives when companies proclaim their “values and ethics” lead their decision making while consistently proving through their actions that the bottom line and shareholder ROI is what truly drives them. In regards to priorities, the bottom line should always come after the company mission, human values and team principles. Otherwise… why are you in business in the first place? If someone is in business just to make money, that’s fine. Just don’t lie to yourself and call yourself a “leader” and expect others to view you as genuine.

Back to your question of what will post technology companies look like? That’s a good question. I imagine it will be myriads of smaller hyper-local companies with global connections, with small teams running a new paradigm without hierarchies. Probably best summarized as a blending of individual and collective-leadership.

I’m not proclaiming this should be the only type of business. However, I feel companies with no traditional hierarchies will lead us to unique and new perspectives we are embarrassingly blind to when following a capitalistic approach that celebrates “growth-for-growth’s-sake”.

A book I recommend that I hope you will find interesting is called “Reinventing Organizations” by Frederic Laloux. There is even an audio version on the website and is a great listen on a commute. Based off this article, I feel you might find this book to provide thorough and nutritious food for thought on this topic.

I believe citizens will empower themselves through the realization that the tools and tech of present and future are theirs to implement. Citizens like yourself and others (who are looking for new ways of approaching these issues) will build the new business models that better serve humanity through their offerings.

Thank you for another great article John.

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