>> I think I agree IF (note the if) We place everything and everyone in the
>> category of "commodity". If I as a human being am considered to be a
>> thing that can be bought or sold to the highest bidder, than there is a
>> serious flaw in the thinking of the buyer or seller. (or the governing
>> body overseeing such a thing).
Like Ben Compton, I too think that this is closely related to the
historical forces driving the "Great Divide of '73" (as Peter Drucker
calls it) which led to the wave of corporate change today.
I tend to think the root cause has to do with the speed of transaction
In the pre-industrial era, when it took 11 years to borrow money, sail to
another continent, and return, business was intimately linked with the
"personal." Business transactions could not be separated from personal,
community, and family considerations.
This was, as anyone in a family business knows, a sometimes stultifying
way to live.
The industrial era changed all that. It sped up the time of transactions
and allowed business people to operate outside family and community. This
decoupled business decision-making from the personal. It allowed, instead,
decision-making according to "impersonal" concerns -- specifically, the
concerns of business finance.
I see business finance as a way of articulating decisions about the value
of human activity over time -- a way of deploying resources. Where, in the
past, one could only think vaguely of "karma," "destiny," or "hubris," now
a manager could "create" destiny by allocating investment where destiny
would be rewarded.
But the rituals of business finance left human aspiration out of the
equation -- hence the growing need for someone to bring back concern for
This growing need took on urgency when the economy shifted in 1973 -- for
a variety of reasons. Once again, the speed of transactions is
accelerating. Now, maybe there's room to bring the personal back into
business decision-making -- but we're not quite sure how to do it.
And there are many unintended consequences and defensive mechanisms in
place when we try...
--Art Kleiner, <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Age of Heretics home page: <http://www.well.com/user/art>
Fifth Discipline Fieldbook home page: <http://www.fieldbook.com>
c/o NYU Interactive Telecommunications Program, 725 Broadway,
NY NY 10003
c/o Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, PO Box 943, Oxford OH 45056
email@example.com (Art Kleiner)
Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <firstname.lastname@example.org> -or- <http://world.std.com/~lo/>