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The Future of the Organization

By Mike Bonifer 2 weeks ago
Home  /  Innovation  /  The Future of the Organization

Here’s an excerpt from my book, GameChangers–Improvisation for Business in the Networked World, on the future of the organization.

[The resistance to this change is fierce. I cannot begin to tell you how many times, in the short existence of bigSTORY, we’ve encountered managers who claim they want to embrace the evolution I describe here, but whose true agenda is maintaining the status quo. Note to those managers: Don’t waste our time, or yours. To the rest of you: Let’s go!]

Key phrases are my italics:

Forces of Nature

The old models are giving way today as surely as moun­tains give way to the elements.  The citadels of the Industrial Age will ei­ther collapse or evolve in wave after wave of change brought on by the global digital economy.  The Networked World demands a fluid model, one that can roll with those waves of change.  A new, more flexible and creative type of business organization has become inexo­rably necessary and ultimately unavoidable.  This new business structure will accommodate new ways of working and new genera­tions of employees doing that work.  This new structure is the net­work.  The networked organization communicates, both internally and with the world, via a massive, ever-changing constellation of channels.  It is increasingly non-hierarchical.  It provides fertile ter­ritory for those businesspeople with entrepreneurial instincts, no matter where they reside in the organizational scheme of things.

Just as in the Industrial Age, the organizations of the Net­worked World mirror the way products get produced.  The way products get produced today is via networks.  These networks enable the complex web of communication required to connect production lines that may run all the way from Kokomo to Kinshasa; and they open the endless matrix of marketing, sales and distribution points made possible by the internet.  The effectiveness of a com­pany’s performance in this wonderfully chaotic networked environ­ment will ultimately decide the success of the business.

Organizations designed to thrive in the Networked World are more biological than industrial.  They resemble their employees more than their employees resemble them.  They are highly adaptive, open, sensitive to their culture and their environment, and ultra-re­sponsive to their audience.  They continuously evolve, nurtured by a steady stream of intelligent input from inside and outside the organi­zational organism.  In this biological archetype, where good ideas originate is not half as important as how those good ideas are nur­tured toward realization and profitability.

[A lot of you understand that this is What the organization will inevitably become, not through any particular intention as much as through the forces of nature acting on the business environment. See us for the How.]

  Innovation, Organizational Effectiveness, Story Organization
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 Mike Bonifer

  (56 articles)

Mike Bonifer is the co-founder and Chief Creative Officer for bigSTORY, a company of strategists & practitioners who are first in the world to utilize quantum storytelling, an emerging organizational science that accounts for how stories are created, live in networks, and influence behaviors. Throughout his professional life, Bonifer has been in the forefront of emerging storytelling practices and technologies. As the publicist on Tron, the author of The Art of Tron, and the writer and producer of Computers are People, Too, he explained computer-generated imagery to the analog world. As a founding producer of The Disney Channel, he pioneered the Walt Disney Company’s entrance into cable television with the legendary documentary series, Disney Family Album. As the producer of the award-winning website for Toy Story, he introduced movie fans around the world to Pixar’s extraordinary storytelling. He co-founded Network LIVE, which lives on as Control Room, producer of some of the biggest online music events in the world, including 2007’s Live Earth concerts for the environment, for which he served as Chief Storyteller. In 2007, he wrote and published GameChangers – Improvisation for Business in the Networked World, and, with Dr. Virginia Kuhn of USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, co-founded GameChangers, a learning company that applied improvisation to business communication. His work with GameChangers dramatically improved the performances in units of companies such as Skype, Gap Inc. The Walt Disney Company, United Airlines Media, Gawker Media, NetApp and GE. He has conducted university workshops in Public Health, Entrepreneurship, Engineering, Sociology and Cinema; collaborated with Alan Alda on a workshop for the Viterbi School of Engineering at USC; explained quantum storytelling to physicists at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory; coached Ron “The Gangster Gardener” Finley on his famous TED Talk on urban gardening; and returned to his old hometown in Indiana, to tell stories about the legendary smalltown Hoosier baskeball team, his childhood heroes,The Ireland Spuds. He was the featured storyteller at the 2014 San Miguel International Storytelling Festival in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He and his son, Alex, perform a two-person improv act called BonBon, the only father-son comedy improv act in the world (that they know of). In 2015, he will tour Panama, Guatemala and Nicaragua on behalf of the Notre Dame Executive Education program. With bigSTORY, Bonifer and Jeremi Karnell have created a home for one of the most remarkable advances in storytelling of our lifetimes. A way of seeing the world through the lens of the stories we create together. A theory that accounts for the brilliant possibilities that await us when your story and my story become our story.