FOR THE NEW BUSINESS ORDER
HE old pyramidal corporate structure, with its paternalistic attitude, is
being shuffled out of the picture. Passion Makes Perfect
shows where we are headed.
And it isn't all good news.
The seas of business are stormy.
Companies with top-heavy superstructures will founder, taking those who remain
on board with them. The good old days of multi-layered management have had
their day. And they'll be gone forever.
So what lies in the immediate
Streamlined, low-profile companies
where work revolves around flexible, self-managed project teams that focus
exclusively on meeting market and customer needs.
As a member of a project team,
the company will expect you to provide creative input, even if it means that
you have to acquire additional skills. You'll also be expected to respond
rapidly to customer demands, making on-the-spot decisions without reference
to the top office.
You can expect other differences
to confront you. For example, you won't have security of job tenure. You'll
only be employed for as long as it takes to complete a project. Your next
job will depend on the quality of your current performance. You may even
find yourself working on a project for a rival company. In effect, you'll
be an independent contractor. As such, you'll have to acquire the skills
and knowledge you'll need to survive on your own: not only technical skills,
but also finance, marketing and people skills.
If you're a manager now, you're
going to find the going tough. The new business order is going to wreck your
comfort zone, which involves loyalty to your employer and your need to be
part of a large, protective organisation.
Those managers who succeed will
adapt quickly to the changes. They'll swing their unquestioning allegiance
from a company, to loyalty to the team and its project for the duration that
In essence, companies will provide
money, opportunities and challenges in exchange for the limited period hire
of managers' intellect and expertise. The new order also means that you have
to take responsibility for the development of your own career. You'll have
to acquire and develop a broad range of skills and update them continuously
in line with fluctuating demands in the job market.
Since you won't be spoon-fed
in terms of job opportunities, you will have to spend time developing a network
of reliable, well-placed contacts to keep you in mind when new projects are
You'll also have to hone your
personal budgetary skills. Those rainy financial days, which never seemed
to come around when you were securely employed by an old-style corporation,
will become prevalent. Because you'll be paid only for what you do, you could
find yourself spending long penniless periods between pay days.
In Passion Makes Perfect
I've detailed specific challenges that you'll encounter as the business of
management drastically transforms itself. In addition, I've suggested ways
and means of coping with the challenges and beating them.
Chapter One sets the scene by
charting the evolution of business management from the Industrial Revolution.
It then propels us to the threshold of the coming Age of Imagination, when
intellectual property will become the all-important business asset.
Chapter Two deals with the 'new look' corporate profile. In it I discuss
the 10 characteristics essential to achieving the architecture necessary
for business survival and growth into the next century. I exhort you to bust
corporate bureaucracy and rebuild your company from the ground up, cutting
through artificial barriers and streamlining operations.
The ensuing chapters, in effect,
provide the blocks you need to build the 'new look', low-profile corporation.
It takes the nerve to drastically revise entrenched corporate culture. It
also takes major changes in established mindset.
By following my recommendations,
you'll be able to ease yourself into the new business order. It won't be
easy. But if you have the will, you can do it.