Monday, June 28, 2010

Innovations That Rocked the World - Newsweek

What is happening to the world? Check out this link first - it's a chronological timeline of all major innovations of the humankind (well, the wheel is omitted for some reason):

Innovations That Rocked the World - Newsweek <- click here

Any tendencies you have noticed? The closer we are getting to today, the fewer radical technological changes we observe. Right, there are qualitative shifts and enhancements, but whether it's a humongous Nokia of the first model of an iPhone 4, it is still still a phone, performing a few more functions compared to its predecessors. There may be nano-technologies and other improvements to the way our lives are being run, but most industries have realized (I hope) that the era of life-changing inventions is over.

What does it mean for all of us as managers and employees and the society in general? Only one thing - the human capital is becoming the most significant differentiator in a firm's competitive advantage. The battle is beyond radically altering our lives - the battle is for the hearts and minds of the consumer (of products or services).

Do an easy experiment and google phrases like "strategic HR", "executive coaching", "leadership development" and the like. On the latter I have got more than 35 million entries. As a contract, "radical innovation" returned me something like 1.5 million. Without oversimplifying the issue, the main message is that the focus has shifted. We are not a technocratic society any more - that was back in the 1920s, when an employee was just a nut in the huge mechanism of an industrial unit. Nor are we an MBO culture any longer. This is a debatable point, but in its classical application, MBO is too straightforward for my liking. We are turning into an innovation, learning and creativity society - those being the only differentiating factors.

We all know that talented and bright employees hate boundaries, rules and restrictions. At the same time, try running a company with no structure and policies at all. This is, in my opinion, is the predicament of the future, and I believe that formal carcasses of many corporate entities will soon become to fade to ensure that creativity and innovation flow freely throughout the organization and splash over into the wider community. Are we ready for the change?


No comments:

Post a Comment


Related Posts with Thumbnails