On being fluid

Zygmunt Bauman nailed it years ago. Liquid is the new solid. The first modernity sought to erect solid, eternal buildings. Ideas, factories, ideologies were supposed to last forever. The larger, the mightier. The mightier, the better. And then it all changed.

An unintelligible amalgamation of instant communication and massive deregulation gave rise to an unprecedented explosion in complexity at all levels. Every aspect of our lives suddenly began to liquify. Fluids adapt without delay nor resistance. Liquids not just elude the solid, but they also erode it.

Most of what we learn and practice about work organization today is still deeply rooted in solid ideas. Mid-term planning, infatuation for the rule, illusion of control on people and outcome, fascination for the expert, centralization of power. A relic called management so many cling to, perhaps for lack of a trustworthier god.

We’d like to swim with the current, help others from sinking to the bottom, and help erode the decrepit edifice of management, all at once. Our humble attempt is called liqueed. Alea jacta est.

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