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In the fall of 2012, at Haier (pronounced “higher”) headquarters in Qingdao, China, legendary Founder and CEO, Zhang Ruimin, Cofounder Ms. Yang Mian Mian, and other key leaders met to plan the transition to organizational self-management.
We live in the marketing age of all things natural, organic, and sustainable. Some astute observers are turning to the natural world for examples of practices that allow human beings to work together effectively in the age of the self-managed organization.
Like staccato bursts of data from the interstellar spacecraft Voyager, the workplaces of the future are sending new messages to the people that will be soon be joining them (and in many cases, already are). The new messages are replacing the outdated memos crafted for the dawn of the industrial age, when information traveled at the speed of Morse code.
As companies flatten hierarchy and expand the taxonomy of futurework, it seems clear that organizational effectiveness will ultimately depend on the choices of individuals.
There is no shortage of drivers competing to advance organizational freedom and engagement: technological, sociological, generational, philosophical and myriad others. The economics of innovation and leadership will likely vie for pole position as a key driver in the race.