One thing I have learned during these days of lockdown is that nature certainly innovates on its own way, sometimes incrementally and others as disruptively as now, making us humans rethink the way we do things and live on this world, but mostly rethinking how we relate to ourselves and the planet.
I have been writing a Ph.D. thesis and book for the last two years on how to make corporate culture more human-centered and less of a management toy. These days have shown us how so-called leaders both in the political but mostly in the business arenas act as if this was slavery in the 17th century forever. These emergency times are showing what people and organizations are made of, but also show who might be there in the future and who will follow the steps of extinct species.
In recent years the business world has been trying to connect more with topics like circularity, sustainability, responsibility, and creativity for many different reasons that include from the good-old greed for just profit to an aim for evolution about what organizations are, and what profit really should mean. The Business Roundtable, founded in 1972, has put out many statements on the principles of corporate governance since the late 1970s. It said a new definition that “supersedes” past statements and outlines a “modern standard for corporate responsibility.” “Purpose is not the sole pursuit of profits but the animating force for achieving them,” Fink, it current leader, wrote in his 2019 annual letter to shareholders. “As divisions continue to deepen, companies must demonstrate their commitment to the countries, regions, and communities where they operate, particularly on issues central to the world’s future prosperity,” reports CNBC.
Current and future generations are certainly not looking for bosses, leaders or gurus to give them orders and instructions, but for shared responsibilities, purpose and meaning for their existence, and the way they live in the world. Many companies struggle with Millenials and Centennials trying to force them into old models painted with bright colors, but they manage their way to slip into autonomy and conviction with an admirable sense of commitment to their own lives and the world that surrounds them.
Owners, shareholders, investors, magnates, bosses, managers, supervisors, chiefs of units and the sad and bloody corporate ladder and corporate life are not aspirational anymore, instead, they become the ruins of an antique “civilization” called Business and Management that as any other empire is looking at its own decay. Today and tomorrow we need to step into new systems and models that respond to the resources we have today, the new dreams of the next generations and most of all to the many mistakes we have in the past, that have brought us to where we are today.
I am sick and tired of reading about corrupt billionaire CEOs and bankers, asking their workers to go back to work in the middle of a pandemic as if they were those slaves who died sick in cotton or Tabacco field (or sex workers trafficked to serve the mafias). I am sick and tired of politicians worried about the economy and investing in wars that don´t kill more people than hunger, inequality, and lack of public services do.
We do not live in a poor world full of scarcity, not anymore. We live in a wealthy world full of resources that are not managed properly, We live in the middle of overproduction and overconsumption in the same place where people starve and are homeless. We live in a very badly managed world, and it is time to dismanage, please. Time to change the systems and rules and time to redesign medieval hierarchy into a distributed inclusive leadership, time to rethink wealth and ownership, and time to revolutionize the ways we relate and stratify our communities and organizations. To stop ignoring the elderly and overvaluing the white aggressive male who only cares about his own little world.
This is definitively time for human change and human business innovation. Do you want to join?